BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A Liberty High School teacher and basketball coach charged in a misconduct investigation involving a student did not appear at his scheduled court date on Tuesday, but a plea of not guilty was entered.
Jeff Hicks has been charged with annoying or molesting a child under 18, which is classified as a misdemeanor. His attorney H.A. Sala entered the not guilty plea on behalf of his client.
In court documents obtained by 23ABC on Monday, the alleged victim—a 16-year-old teacher’s aide—told police that she and Hicks communicated through social media for several months and also exchanged photos.
Those same documents revealed that Hicks admitted to investigators that he kissed the teen girl.
Hicks has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.
The Kern High School District released the following statement regarding the allegations:
“The allegations against Mr. Hicks are deeply disturbing and absolutely do not reflect the values of the Kern High School District. Once we learned of the allegations, Mr. Hicks was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Kern High School District is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff, and will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement as this matter continues.”