FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A former girls high school basketball coach in Fayetteville is facing multiple child sex charges, authorities say.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said Thurston Jackie Robinson, 60, was arrested Tuesday.
He faces nine counts of sexual battery and six counts of indecent liberties with a student, deputies say.
Deputies say Robinson was being held Tuesday at the county’s detention center on an $18,000 secure bond and is due in court Wednesday.
Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville named him as its its girls varsity basketball coach in May 2020, and he held that position for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. His teams went 40-2 with a 23-0 record in conference play.
A spokesman for Cumberland County Schools said he was suspended on Aug. 1, 2022.
“Mr. Robinson’s status as a non-faculty coach was not renewed for the 2022-23 school year. When allegations of inappropriate conduct were brought to our attention, we suspended discussions about renewing Mr. Robinson’s contract while law enforcement investigated,” Lindsay Whitley said, the Associate Superintendent of Communications and Community Engagement for Cumberland County Schools.
Additionally, arrest records said the reported victim was a Terry Sanford student. The former coach’s arrest comes exactly one week after said victim filed a lawsuit in court.
He is no longer listed as the team’s coach, with Roger Paschall listed in that role this season.
“We take this situation very seriously. The safety and well-being of our students are always top priorities,” Whitley said in a statement. “An interim coach is currently coaching the Terry Sanford High School Girls’ Basketball team.”
Robinson also served as a volunteer coach at E.E. Smith High School from 2019-20.
Deputies said the case is open and additional charges could be forthcoming.
People with information are asked to call Detective Sergeant J. Mcleod at 910-677-5548 or Fayetteville/Cumberland County Crimestoppers at 910-483-8477. Crimestoppers’ information may also be submitted electronically at this website or via the P3 Tips mobile app.