Mount Vernon baseball coach faces allegations of improper contact with juvenile

A well-known baseball coach in Mount Vernon faces allegations of improper contact with a 16-year-old former player.
Robert Pope has been charged with criminal sex act in the third degree, a felony.
The investigation began after the mother of the alleged victim says she found text messages between her child and the 30-year-old coach, which allegedly included sexually explicit messages and photographs.
The victim's relative tells News 12 the family trusted Pope, who coached the victim since he was 14.
According to the prosecution, the sexual misconduct started back in November 2020.
News 12 has learned that Pope is the district leader of the Mount Vernon Democratic Commission and serves as a deacon at church in White Plains. He is also a volunteer coach with the Mount Vernon High School varsity baseball team.
The district released a message that says, "Upon learning of these horrendous allegations, we have ensured that all employees and staff members are aware that he is no longer allowed on school grounds or at school events."
Pope's defense attorney argued that the alleged victim is months from turning 17 - the legal age of consent - and that he didn't know the victim was a minor.
Pope, who is the owner and head coach of Mount Vernon Baseball, was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday in Mount Vernon City Court.
The victim's family says they find comfort knowing that Pope was given a high bail that will keep him in jail until his hearing next week.
The judge also issued a restraining order to keep the coach away from the victim.