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Complaint: Roosevelt Coach ‘Made Sexual Advances on 16-Year-Old Student’

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DES MOINES, Iowa --The Roosevelt High School girls basketball coach made his first appearance in front of a judge Wednesday morning.

Gerald “Tig” Johnson, 46, was charged Tuesday with sexual exploitation by a school employee, a felony, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

The judge issued Johnson to be held in the Polk County Jail on $7,000 cash bond and ordered a no-contact order with minors, meaning Johnson will need to stay away from any public place where children might be.

Online arrest records say Johnson has since been released from the Polk County Jail.

Gerald "Tig" Johnson's first appearance in front of a judge Wednesday.

Gerald "Tig" Johnson's first appearance in front of a judge Wednesday.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Channel 13,  Johnson allegedly "used his position as a school employee to gain access to the victim's personal cell phone number and called her" on Dec. 1. The student told Johnson his behavior was making her uncomfortable, the complaint says.

Two days later, Johnson allegedly "made sexual advances on a 16-year-old student by kissing and touching the victim's clothed breasts, inner thigh, groin and buttock." The complaint says this happened when Johnson pulled the teen from her class and kept her in his classroom for over an hour.

Johnson was the girl’s teacher during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Des Moines Public Schools officials said they learned Tuesday morning of the warrant for Johnson's arrest.

"At this point in time, we don`t have a lot of details. The complaint was made with the Des Moines Police Department, and so the report is with them. We've not seen that yet and so we don`t have information on the timing or the exact accusations that are being made right now," said Phil Roeder, the district's director of communications and public affairs.

The Roosevelt girls varsity basketball team had a game at Hoover High School on Tuesday.

"Our high schools, all of them in Des Moines, are pretty tight communities, and they're going to support each other. The assistant coaches of course have stepped up to take over for the game tonight and of course at this point these are accusations being made, what comes next of course remains to be seen," Roeder said.

While news of Johnson's arrest quickly spread among students via social media, some students say they aren't so quick to judge.

“No one really knows what to believe or think because he was really a great guy,” said student AJ Rose. “Everybody liked him. He was a good coach, he was a friendly teacher. He was always there to help.”

“We’ve had a few practices together and shared courts with him. We just really never expected it because he's a really nice guy,” Nathan Riley said.

The district said another teacher is covering Johnson’s duties in the classroom and another coach is standing in on the court.

Johnson’s court date is Dec. 18 at 8 a.m.

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