App leads to revelation: Former Creek Wood coach charged with rape
Former Creek Wood High School girls basketball coach Tom Mullinicks, 46, of Dickson, was arrested Thursday after the Dickson County Grand Jury indicted him on four counts of rape, four counts of rape by an authority figure, and one count of solicitation of a minor, according to a Dickson County Sheriff's Office press release.
According to the grand jury indictment, Mullinicks is charged with four counts of raping a single victim, between the age of 13 and 18, on dates ranging from Oct. 1, 2015 to Feb. 26, 2016; and using his “position of trust or power” over the victim "to accomplish" the sexual activity.
The indictment also charges Mullinicks with four counts of rape of the same victim during the same time frame; and one count of soliciting the victim via "electronic communication" to "engage in sexual activity."
A Dickson County Circuit Court date of May 9 has been scheduled.
Bond was set at $100,000.
Mullinicks had not posted bond as of press time.
Mullinicks was put on unpaid leave on Feb. 26 by the Dickson County Board of Education after an investigation was initiated by the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office regarding allegations of inappropriate conduct with students.
Mullinicks resigned his position as physical education teacher at Creek Wood High School on April 18.
Mullinicks initially resigned as CWHS girls head basketball coach on March 10, but remained on administrative leave for his teaching position.
Houston County High girls coach Sam Young was hired by Creek Wood to coach the team starting in the fall, according to Dickson County Schools officials.
App leads to revelation
A copy of Mullinicks’ personnel file with Dickson County Schools showed no disciplinary action or complaints prior to the recent investigation that yielded a grand jury indictment.
Director of Secondary Education Josh Mason told The Herald that an app initially intended to help CWHS students anonymously report bullying led to the eventual investigation of Mullinicks.
Mason explained CWHS students viewed a “presentation” about the STOP!T app “a couple weeks” before Mullinicks was escorted from a regional basketball game Feb. 26.
Mason recalled a student having an “issue” using the app, so he/she went to a school official, which led to the revelation of the alleged incidents involving Mullinicks and the purported victim.
The CWHS principal then contacted Mason, who contacted schools Director Dr. Danny Weeks.
Weeks said he was notified “sometime after 2 p.m.” on Feb. 26.
Weeks expressed pride in the “prompt and immediate action” taken by schools staff after learning about “the incident.”
The Herald previously reported that schools officials “pulled” Mullinicks “from court side” before the Feb. 26 regional quarter final game against Cascade.
“I’m proud of the way our staff handled it and the prompt attention to the incident,” Weeks said.
Reporting the incident was a “big piece” that helped schools staff address the reported abuse, Mason added.
“Everybody did what they were supposed to do and the system works,” he said.
Weeks explained “appropriate relationships” between staff and students are essential to preventing or stopping future abuse. He “believed” every student can “relate” to someone at their school.
“There’s always someone they can go to for a discussion,” Weeks said. “Our staff does a good job of listening to and understanding their needs, both academic and nonacademic.”
Weeks expressed gratitude for the sheriff’s office investigation of the incident.
“They did a good job,” he said.
Mullinicks served as CWHS girls head basketball coach since the school opened in 2002.
He also completed two stints as the CWHS head volleyball coach, most recently resigning in July last year to spend more time with his “new family.”
He was the CWHS boys and girls head golf coach at one time too.
According to his personnel file, Mullinicks began his teaching career locally as a P.E. teacher at the private school, Jackson Academy in March 1994.
The local Board of Education hired Mullinicks as a P.E. teacher at Oakmont Elementary School in August 1997. He received tenure in March 2000.