Park Tudor assembles ‘team of attorneys’ as investigation of former coach remains open

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 5, 2016)-- The U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday the child exploitation investigation into former Park Tudor basketball coach Kyle Cox remains open, and in a letter to parents the school said it has now "assembled a team of attorneys."

It comes as questions linger about why Park Tudor and an attorney for the school weren’t more forthcoming with authorities when they learned of the coach’s alleged improper relationship with a 15-year-old student.

The U.S. Attorney’s office would not officially name the attorney involved citing an ongoing investigation.

In court documents, investigators allege the school may have held back on information provided to investigators.

It was December 14 when the father of the victim contacted Park Tudor about the explicit material he found. Court documents said the school wanted to see the information and kept a computer overnight, even keeping hard copies of text messages that included a sexually explicit image.

The school filed a report with DCS on December 15 suggesting an inappropriate relationship. A counselor filed a report with DCS on December 22, indicating videos and images were sexually explicit.

Court papers said a detective went to Park Tudor on January 5 looking for evidence and was referred to the school’s attorney, who cited privileged communication and said the school had done everything it needed to do. The attorney told investigators the school had the material for a short time and returned it to the father.

January 7 is when investigators raided the school and Cox’s home and learned when the attorney came to the scene that he’d duplicated contents of the laptop and documents to keep, before returning the computer back to the father in December.

“I see issues. How major they are depends on the facts,” said Fran Watson, clinical law professor at IU’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Watson is not connected to the case but offered her professional opinion. She said there is a gray area in terms of the right of an attorney and duty to protect client confidence. The question remains – did the attorney and school conceal evidence in some way, though the father of the victim had it all along?

“They’re not lying about something directly. They’re omitting something. That seems to be the concern,” she said.

In court documents the father of the victim said he “believed that Park Tudor would handle notifications to authorities because he had reported the conduct to them and had given them the evidence.”

Park Tudor would not release any additional comment on the allegations Friday.

Ice Miller, the firm of the attorney in question, released this statement through a spokesperson late Friday:

In order to protect client privacy and adhere to our ethical obligations, no additional information will be provided at this time.

Park Tudor also sent a letter home to parents from the interim head of school, Peter Kraft. The letter indicates the school is now working with a team of attorneys. It reads in part:

Dear Parents,

Yesterday, Mr. Kyle Cox, a former employee at Park Tudor, was arrested and charged in Federal Court.

This is deeply disturbing for all of us in the Park Tudor community. As part of our continuing efforts to keep you informed, I want to update you on a recent change.

We have assembled a team of attorneys from Barnes & Thornburg and Frost Brown Todd who will be representing Park Tudor in this matter moving forward.

We recognize that the authorities share the same priorities as Park Tudor: to protect children and to ensure that justice is served. We support them in this effort and are cooperating fully with all aspects of the investigation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family. We will continue to do all that we can to support them and to ensure the safety of our students.