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Power Cross Ministries stands by coach accused of allowing boys to fight

SALISBURY — In a message sent to supporters this week, Power Cross Ministries says it fully supports coach Anthony Shegog, who has been accused of allowing one boy to beat up another while he watched.

Shegog, 24, of the 100 block of South Metropolitan Avenue, Statesville, was charged last weekend with misdemeanor child abuse after a September complaint by a parent, according to the Salisbury Police Department.

Police said on Sept. 24, a mother told the department that her 10-year-old son was beaten up by an 11-year-old boy. Both boys participate in activities offered by Power Cross Ministries in Salisbury.

Power Cross is a mentorship and ministry program that serves boys with a focus on sports. The ministry provides tutoring, character development, Bible study, meals and athletic training.

Earlier this week, Shegog’s attorney, Kenneth Darty of Statesville, said his client denies encouraging one child to beat up another.

Darty said the accusations were made after a dispute between the mother and Power Cross Ministries. When the dispute was not resolved in her favor, she went to law enforcement, Darty said.

The statement by Power Cross defends Shegog.

“Today many false claims and allegations were brought against Power Cross staff member Anthony Shegog. In 2018, we hired Anthony because of the many traits he embodies,” it said in part.

Power Cross says it is still confident in Shegog’s character.

“We will stand beside him and fully support him through this time of tribulation,” the statement said.

Detective Russ DeSantis of the Salisbury Police Department said the 10-year-old victim, along with others, witnessed a fight among some older boys. The boy said Shegog approached him to ask why he did not report the fight or break it up. One of the reasons, the boy said, was that it was a fight among older boys.

DeSantis said after looking at a video and talking with the boys involved, police determined Shegog told “a much bigger boy” to get answers about the fight from the victim.

According to the older child, Shegog told him to do anything to get the 10-year-old to say what happened during the fight, DeSantis said.

Darty said Shegog acted as any coach would have and tried to figure out what happened after the fight because none of the boys was talking.

The older boy went into an office where the 10-year-old was and punched him several times while Shegog watched, according to police. Shegog told police he did not tell the child to hit the 10-year-old, but police said Shegog watched the two boys and did nothing to stop the assault.

Darty said his client checked on the boys through an open door and didn’t find out about the alleged assault until he got a call from one of the parents.

The attorney believes investigators sensationalized the incident. Darty said his client is a Christian man who has never been charged with a crime.

Power Cross said in its statement it is cooperating in the investigation.

“The well-being of each and every child we work with has been and will continue to be our No. 1 priority. In this current situation, we have been accommodating and transparent with anyone involved and all law enforcement agencies. We believe in our justice system and we believe that when this is over the truth will overcome,” the statement said.

The statement said the organization has worked hard to build a staff that is trustworthy.
“We have worked with thousands of children over the past 13 years without any legal issues and we expect that record to continue,” the statement said.
Power Cross Ministry said anyone who wants to visit its campuses can do so to see what the ministry is really about.
Darty said his client will fight to clear his name.
“Mr. Shegog does not intend to enter a plea of guilty in this matter. He maintains his innocence, and we welcome the opportunity to try this case in a court of law,” Darty said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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