Former High Point football coach, teacher Andre Brown charged with sexual abuse of a minor

Prince George’s County Police arrested former High Point football coach Andre Brown on Thursday and charged him with sexual abuse of a minor, a police spokesman confirmed Friday.

A 17-year-old female student accused Brown of sexually abusing her one time on the Beltsville school’s grounds in the fall of 2013.

Brown admitted involvement in the incident, according to the police statement, and Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesman Max Pugh said Brown has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Lt. Bill Alexander, a spokesman for Prince George’s County Police, said the alleged victim brought her allegations against Brown to police within the last week.

Brown, 32, was hired to teach at High Point in February 2002, and is listed as a special education teacher on the school’s Web site. He attended and played football at High Point in the late 1990s, then took over as head coach of the Eagles before the 2011 season.

Brown coached High Point to a 4-26 record in three seasons, including a 2-8 mark in 2013. He has since been relieved of his coaching duties.

Pugh said the coaching change had nothing to do with the allegations that led to Brown’s arrest, and that High Point principal Sandra Jiminez and Athletic Director Shirley Diggs relieved him of his coaching duties several weeks ago due to “the poor performance of the football team this past season.”

Jiminez sent a letter home with students Thursday alerting parents of the allegations and informing them of Brown’s removal from the school.

Karen Coakley, an education advocate and president of the Beltsville Citizens Association, said she heard about Brown’s abuse earlier this week during the school’s senior night award ceremony.

“My heart goes out to this girl. The parents have got to be horrified,” Coakley said. “Teachers are in roles of authority and it is such a sacred trust.”

Coakley said there was a lot of whispering during the event, which “cast a shadow” over an important night for some talented, graduating seniors.

“I just hope that if there is anyone with any more knowledge about this that they come forward,” she said.

Brown was charged with resisting or interfering with arrest in December 2012 in the District Court for Prince George’s County, but the prosecutors decided not to press charges. Brown also has two open cases surrounding charges of driving with a suspended license, one stemming from a November 2013 incident, the other from February. He was also charged with being a fugitive from justice in D.C. Superior Court in October 2013. Police could not provide more information about the nature of the charge.

Alexander said Brown was in custody of the Department of Corrections as of Thursday night and Friday morning, and that he did not know whether he is eligible for or had posted bond as of Friday afternoon.

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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