Former Kent-Meridian track coach Ammons faces April 12 court hearing
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
March 15, 2012 · 11:24 AM
A former Kent-Meridian High School teacher and coach charged with communication with a minor for immoral purposes is scheduled to return to court April 12.
Ernie Ammons, 36, of Black Diamond, is scheduled for a hearing in King County Superior Court in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. A trial date could be set at the hearing or attorneys from either side could ask for more time to prepare the case. Ammons pleaded not guilty to the charge on Dec. 22 and is free on bail.
King County prosecutors charge Ammons sent sexually explicit test messages to a 16-year-old girl at the school. Ammons taught health and physical education at Kent-Meridian. He also coached boys and girls track and cross country at the school.
The Kent School District placed Ammons on paid administrative leave Nov. 8 when the allegations first came to the district's attention. Ammons has been removed from his coaching duties.
The court ordered that Ammons be prohibited from teaching, coaching, volunteering or holding any position of authority over minors while the case is pending.
If convicted as charged, Ammons could be sentenced up to one year in jail and fined $5,000. He also would have to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years because it is a sex offense.
Prosecutors charged Ammons Dec. 8 after an investigation by Kent Police, who cited him at large on Dec. 6.
A series of text messages reportedly were exchanged between Ammons and the girl from June 27 through Nov. 6. In an Oct. 13 text message, Ammons asked the girl to meet him for sex in the school's weight room before school, according to charging papers. The two also exchanged messages about Ammons paying the girl cash for sex.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.