HS coach charged with sex assault of child


Cedric Mason, 41, is out on bond facing two charges of sexually assaulting a child. Investigators say the assault happened over the summer in Mason's apartment.

Officials say although the alleged assault had nothing to do with the school, because he is a coach, they are concerned there could be more victims out there.

Mason is charged with two counts of sexually assaulting a child. Police say over the course of one week last July, Mason allegedly assaulted the 14-year-old girl inside his apartment on El Dorado Boulevard. The girl immediately out-cried to her mother.

"After the outcry was made, the victim was taken to the hospital, and the sexual assault exam was done," said Officer John Colburn with the Houston Police Department. "HPD crime lab was able to determine there was DNA evidence in the sexual assault kit, and the comparison by the HPD crime lab revealed that it did link up Cedric Mason to the investigation."

For the past eight years, Mason has worked at La Marque ISD, becoming the head boys' basketball coach during the 2007-2008 season. On Wednesday afternoon, the school district said Mason is now on paid administrative leave.

Statement from La Marque ISD:

    La Marque ISD policy requires all employees to inform the district of any criminal allegations that may be filed against them.

    Cedric Mason, La Marque High School head basketball coach, informed the district through legal counsel about his cooperation with the Harris County District Attorney's office, based on two allegations of sexual assault with a minor. The allegations against Mason occurred during the summer and did not involve any LMISD students.

    The administration will conduct a thorough investigation of the alleged incident. Mason is cooperating fully with the district. In a situation such as this, the district disciplines employees based on the employee code of conduct and the severity of the incident. Currently, the district has placed Mason on administrative leave during the investigation and pending the outcome of the aforementioned allegations.

    Throughout his tenure in the district, Mason has conducted himself in a professional manner and has been a model employee. The district has never received any reports or incidents of any impropriety against him. Mason is cooperating fully with both the school district and the Harris County DA's office and expects to be exonerated of all allegations.

Officer Colburn said, "He denied all allegations. He came into the office and spoke with me. His attorney was present at the time. He denied all allegations of sexual contact."

Mason turned himself in on Wednesday and posted bond. He wasn't home Wednesday afternoon when we tried to contact him, but his attorney told us over the phone that her client is ready to mount a vigorous defense. But police say they're concerned about other possible victims.

"It's always disturbing in situations when you have someone with his influence on the community," Officer Colburn said. "Any kind of sexual abuse of a child by someone who has that kind of involvement in the community is very disturbing."

The school district is conducting its own internal investigation while Mason is on administrative leave. Officials are not yet certain how they will handle the boys' basketball season.

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