Park Tudor School won't face prosecution in Kyle Cox sexting case

Kyle Cox (WTHR file photo)
Park Tudor Investigation 5pm
Park Tudor investigation 6pm

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - One of the city's most prominent private schools will avoid prosecution for failing to report an inappropriate relationship between its former basketball coach and a 15-year-old student.

Federal prosecutors reached a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with Park Tudor School. Provided the school has no further violations over the next two years, the U.S. Attorney's Office will not prosecute.

But court documents reveal a troubling timeline in the investigation of former teacher and coach Kyle Cox - and an administrator who committed suicide.

Prosecutors and current Park Tudor staff entered an agreement which places serious blame on former Head of School Matthew Miller. If he had not committed suicide, prosecutors say he would otherwise be subject to prosecution.

The case involves the alleged relationship between Cox and a student. The DPA says besides Miller, "no other persons were aware of the Coach Kyle Cox/Minor Victim relationship."

Miller is blamed in the PDA, which says the “Head of School” delayed making any report to the Department of Child Services, and that he "failed” to inform the second head of school about the coach and student exchanging sexually explicit images and videos.

Miller also reportedly entered an "agreement” with the coach not to discuss the coaches reasons for resigning and even authorized counsel to negotiate a confidentiality agreement with the young girl's parents.

Prosecutors also say Miller "made false and misleading statements to police" during their investigation.

Park Tudor will be on probation effective immediately until March 2018, agreeing to report any inappropriate adult-student behavior right away.

The DPA also stipulated the school, giving an apology to the parents of Park Tudor.

As part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), the school will be subject to an independent monitor who will provide reports to the U.S. Attorney's Office to ensure that the school is following agreed-upon standards for reporting suspected child abuse and for policies impacting overall child safety.

Case history

Kyle Cox is a former Park Tudor coach and teacher who was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he engaged in a sexting relationship with a female student. Prosecutors say he exchanged explicit photos with a student and was making plans to have sex with her.

Prosecutors believe Cox was just five days away from bringing his 15-year-old victim to his home for sex while his wife and children, including a newborn baby, were out of town.

The DPA reveals details of the cover-up.

According to the DPA, Park Tudor's then-principal, Dr. Matthew D. Miller, failed to report the sexually explicit communication to the Department of Child Services immediately, as required by law. Instead, the school's attorney was allowed to take possession of a laptop and hard copies of documents after a meeting in mid-December 2015. Miller waited 24 hours before making a report of the allegations to DCS, based partly on conversations with Park Tudor's attorney.

Miller directed another school official to make a report to the DCS, but failed to reveal that Cox had been sexting with a student - and that the school's attorney had evidence of that activity.

Although Miller was present when the other employee called to report the matter to DCS, he did not speak up with DCS asked specifically if any photos had been exchanged. The other employee was unaware of the photos. The DPA says Miller never reported that information - nor did he tell an IMPD detective that he was present when the DCS report was made or that he had firsthand knowledge of the photos.

The DPA also says Miller sent a confidentiality agreement to Cox which required Cox to stop communication with Park Tudor students and never discuss the reasons for his resignation. In exchange for his signature and agreement, the school would release a statement saying that Cox had resigned.

Instead of turning in Cox's laptop to police, Miller returned it to the victim's parent.

Amid the investigation, Miller took his own life.

In response to the investigation, Park Tudor School hired a former federal judge and U.S. attorney to review its policies and procedures with a focus on child abuse/neglect prevention, detection and reporting requirements. The school revised its handbooks and manuals, and trained all faculty, staff and board members in Prevent Child Abuse Indiana programs and now trains all new staff and faculty in the same way.

Park Tudor apologized to parents for the incident.

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