District Attorney adds charges against Power Cross coach, mother of victim speaks
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — The Rowan County District Attorney’s Office has brought additional assault charges against Power Cross Ministries coach Anthony Shegog, who prosecutors say allowed one youth participant to be attacked as he watched.
The mother of the victim says she’s hopeful the truth comes out next year when a trial is expected about the incident at Power Cross, a Christian-based mentorship and ministry program that serves boys with a focus on sports and academics.
In mid-November, the Salisbury Police Department charged Anthony Darnell Shegog, 24, of Statesville, with misdemeanor child abuse. Police investigator Russ DeSantis said the arrest and subsequent charges stemmed from a September incident. Shegog was arrested in November .
DeSantis 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. 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, DeSantis said. Police said the bigger boy went into an office where a 10-year-old was and punched him several times.
Shegog reportedly told police he didn’t tell one child to hit the other, but police said Shegog watched the two and did nothing to stop the assault.
On Dec. 11, when the parties arrived for court, prosecutors brought additional charges of misdemeanor aid-abet simple assault and aid-abet assault on a child under 12. Court records indicate a trial is Jan. 29.
Statesville attorney Ken Darty, who represents Shegog, has said his client maintains his innocence and denies the allegations.
“It doesn’t change the substance of the incident. They added these charges, I assume, based on a review by the district attorney’s office,” Darty said.
He said the added charges also don’t alter plans to go to trial with the case.
Darty said he was perplexed by the child abuse charge and that Shegog has a lot of support from the community.
“We hope this matter will be resolved in January,” Darty said.
The 10-year-old boy’s mother, Kelly Hosch, told the Post she knew something was wrong when her son came home upset. She said he tearfully told her he’d been beaten up by another boy in the Power Cross program after he didn’t provide answers to Shegog about a fight that he witnessed.
Hosch said she was also upset to learn no one allowed her son to call her or his father.
The boy told his mother that because of his silence concerning the fight, Shegog made him run and do wall sits. Hosch said she questioned Shegog about why he didn’t inquire with the other children who witnessed the fight. Hosch recorded the conversation, which she says she provided to investigators. She also provided it to the Post.
“My son was just assaulted. I’m trying to handle this like adults. I am calling the police and y’all can tell them this story. And the police can tell me if there’s any laws broken,” Hosch can be heard in the recording.
Before Shegog’s arrest, Hosch said she tried to talk with Power Cross founders Jeff and Natalie Storment to, “come up with a resolution.” Hosch said she had one meeting where she did not get the answers she was seeking.
Hosch said she did want her son to remain in the program as long as Shegog was not involved.
“I thought it was a great organization. It gave him hope, he had friends,” she said. “He got to experience new things. It gave him something to stand for. He had to keep up his grades up.”
According to Hosch, the Storments refused to terminate Shegog. She said the Storments requested another meeting, but she was ready to proceed with charges and did not accept another meeting.
When she met with the Storments in October, the investigation was complete, but no charges had been filed.
Hosch said she’d never met the other child or his mother until she saw them in court on Dec. 11. Hosch said she only holds Shegog responsible for what occurred and that the incident has traumatized her son.
Hosch said her son had never previously been involved in a physical altercation. In fact, she said, she taught him to not get involved when others are fighting.
In a November statement from Power Cross, the founders say they are still confident in Shegog’s character and they support him.
But Hosch said, “These are not false allegations.”
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.
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