LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Former Parkview High School head football coach, William Hardiman, is accused of maintaining a sexual relationship with a student and faces a felony sexual assault charge.
Hardiman surrendered to police officers on Friday, was booked into the Pulaski County jail for 1st degree sexual assault, and was later released on bail.
Hardiman, who coached at Parkview from 2007-2015, was replaced as coach two weeks before the start of the season. At the time, a spokesperson said he was placed on leave for a personnel issue.
According to the police report, the investigation began in May when an anonymous letter was sent to Principal Dexter Booth, claiming Hardiman had a sexual relationship with a girl who was a senior during the 2014-15 school year. The letter also claimed that the girl went on a school field trip last spring without the school’s knowledge, nearly a year after she graduated. Dr. Booth immediately turned the letter over to law enforcement.
“Keep in mind that police, teachers, people in authority, we’re all mandated reporters,” mentioned Lt. Steven McClanahan, a spokesman for the Little Rock Police Department. “So, once we learn of a sexual abuse case or a child abuse case, we have to report it.”
Detectives interviewed the student, and they wrote in the police report that she admitted to having a relationship with Hardiman.
Members of the state Attorney General’s office helped look through cell phone records and other evidence.
“Whenever we have an allegation that someone in a position of authority is involved in something that they shouldn’t be, obviously we’re going to devote all of our resources to try to determine exactly what happened,” Lt. McClanahan said.
Hardiman had been the Patriots’ football coach since 2007, and also taught African-American History. Detectives do not think Hardiman had any other victims, but they want parents to treat this case as a warning.
“Be a very involved parent,” Lt. McClanahan stressed. “When your kids are in school, who they’re hanging around with. What are they doing after school’s out? Just keep a good eye on them, because kids are young, kids are impressionable.”
A spokesperson for the Little Rock School District declined to give any additional information Monday regarding Hardiman’s status as a teacher.
Little Rock school district’s August 17 statement regarding William Hardiman:
“The Little Rock School District announced today the appointment of Kenny Stephens as interim football coach at Parkview Magnet High School. In addition to his duties as social studies teacher at Parkview, Stephens most recently served as offensive coach at Little Rock Central High School, and had previous stints in various assistant coach roles at Parkview.
“Stephens will serve in the absence of current head coach William Hardiman who has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation of a personnel matter.
“Parkview Athletic Director and Assistant Principal John Kelley met with football players and coaching staff today to inform them of the news. A parent meeting is also planned to provide details about the transition. Notification regarding that meeting will be shared with parents.”