Jennings pre-trial set for July 13

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Tribune News Staff

A pre-trial hearing will be held July 13 in Harrisburg to determine the jurisdiction in the case of former Marked Tree High School teacher and coach Rob Jennings.

Jennings, 47, of Little Rock was charged with 23 criminal counts of sexual misconduct last November, after an investigation by the Marked Tree Police Department, Arkansas State Police Crimes against Children unit and the Jonesboro office of the FBI found several alleged victims who stated that Jennings allegedly sexually abused them over a ten-year period. Jennings is charged with 19 counts of second degree violation of a minor, two counts of first degree violation of a minor and two counts of rape.

In court papers released last November, Poinsett County Prosecuting Attorney Constance Grayson alleged that Jennings, while serving as either a teacher or coach at the school allegedly abused five students at the school over the period. Jennings pled not guilty to the charges, in a preliminary hearing on Dec. 5, 2003 before Poinsett County Circuit Judge David Laser. Bond was set at $10,000 in a probable cause hearing last November in Poinsett County Circuit Court.

While a pre-trial hearing will be held on July 13, an official in the Poinsett County Prosecuting Attorney's office told the Tri-City Tribune last week that any trial in the case would be held July 26-30 in Poinsett County Circuit Court. The case stems from an April 2003 incident involving Jennings and a former student at the school, who accused Jennings of abuse.

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