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Former coach enters a plea deal

From The Volunteer Times/Knox News/USA Today -

Daniel Allen Turner - SCJ

A former Cougar Football coach has plead guilty to attempted soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor.


Daniel Allen Turner entered the plea Tuesday August 21, 2019 after being accused and indicted after it was reported that he attempted to lure a Pigeon Forge Middle School student into his office to show her nude photographs on his smartphone.


Turner was coaching basketball at the Pigeon Forge Middle School and football at Pigeon Forge High School at the time of the incident.


Pigeon Forge Middle School principal Scott Hensley waited nearly five hours before notifying police of Turner's alleged crime against a student, allowing him to walk away with evidence, records show.


In August 2018, Pigeon Forge High School football coach Adrian Watson persuaded Hensley to hire Turner as a middle school teacher so Watson could put Turner — a former All-American college football teammate — on his coaching roster.


Hensley was notified that Turner had been making sexually inappropriate comments about female students, records showed. Hensley said he called School Superintendent Jack A. Parton, who told him to issue Turner a reprimand. Hensley did not.


Hensley received a third complaint from a teacher about Turner the following day. But Hensley did nothing to confront Turner or investigate the allegations, records show, before going home for the weekend.


On Jan. 23, 2019, Superintendent Parton reprimanded Hensley for failing to do a better job screening Turner’s hire. In his letter, Parton blamed Campbell County for not alerting state officials about their problems with Turner which would have helped put Sevier County on notice, he noted.


The Knox News Sentinel reported that Turner had been fired from LaFollette Elementary School in 2017 for sexually inappropriate behavior involving students and sexual harassment of female teachers, but Campbell County Schools then-director didn’t notify the Tennessee State Board of Education.


The Tennessee Department of Education renewed his teaching license months after he was fired.


As part of the plea he admitted to asking the student to view the photo in question. As part of the agreement he will not spend any time in jail but he will have to register as a sex offender and he can never teach again.

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