VERSAILLES — An assistant boy's basketball coach at Woodford County High School and former Fayette County Public Schools employee is accused of sexually abusing a pre-teen girl 14 years ago.
A Woodford County grand jury indicted Larry Watts, 58, of Versailles on Wednesday on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Watts has been an assistant boys' basketball coach in Woodford County since 2009 and has worked in Lexington at Morton Middle School and Cardinal Valley Elementary during the past two years.
The indictment says that from May through November 2001, Watts subjected a girl younger than 12 years old to sexual contact.
Versailles Police Sgt. Joy Farmer said the case is still open and more charges may be coming. However, she said no other alleged victims have come forward.
Farmer did not know specifically how Watts knew or came into contact with the victim, who is now an adult.
Woodford County Schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins confirmed Friday that Watts has been employed as an assistant boy's basketball coach at the high school for six years. Watts was still employed as of Friday.
A background check was performed before his employment but "nothing came back on that that would have prevented him from being hired," Hawkins said.
He said the school district will conduct its own investigation in cooperation with law enforcement and that "we'll take appropriate action."
School district officials didn't learn of the charges against Watts until Thursday night, Hawkins said.
Watts also was employed by the Woodford school district four years ago at an alternative school, Hawkins said. That job lasted about six months, he said.
During the 2013-14 school year, Watts was a SAFE (Suspension And Failure Elimination) room teacher at Morton Middle School, said Fayette County Public Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall. During the 2014-15 school year, Watts was a paraeducator, or instructional assistant, at Cardinal Valley Elementary. His contract was not renewed at the end of the year, Deffendall said.
In both of those positions, he would have been one of two adults in the classroom, so he would not have been alone with students, she said.
First-degree sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old is a class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison.
Watts is scheduled to be arraigned July 1 before Woodford Circuit Judge Paul Isaacs.