Former Marked Tree Coach Charged with Sex-Related Crimes

Rob Jennings (courtesy of Marked Tree PD)
Rob Jennings (courtesy of Marked Tree PD)

NOVEMBER 3, 2003 - Posted at 1:49 p.m. CDT

HARRISBURG, AR - A former Marked Tree teacher and coach has been charged with 23 counts of improper sexual behavior.

Robert Lynn Jennings appeared in Poinsett County Circuit Court this morning in Harrisburg regarding sexual acts which victims say occurred between 1989 and 2000.

Enough evidence was gathered from 5 males who were students in the Marked Tree school system at that time to charge Jennings with 19 counts of Violation of a Minor in the 2nd Degree, 2 counts of Violation of a Minor in the 1st Degree and 2 Counts of Rape. All of the charges are felonies.

Accusations were first made against Jennings in April 2003. This is what Superintendent Gary Masters said at that time: "The school is very regretful if any harm has come to students or others as a result of any actions by a member of our faculty."

Second Judicial District Prosecutor Brent Davis said the alleged victims in the case range in age from 13 to 17. Davis explained the charges stem from touching them in a sexual manner to acts such as oral sex.

A warrant was issued for Jennings' arrest Monday. A short time later he turned himself into the Circuit Court. After being formally charged by the judge, Robert Jennings was taken back to the Poinsett County Sheriff's Department where he posted bail. His bond was set at $10,000. He was also ordered not to have contact with anyone under 18 years of age. Jennings is scheduled to be back in court December 5, 2003.