Former volunteer softball coach gets probation for sexual misconduct with 15-year-old girl

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A former volunteer softball coach pleaded guilty Monday to fourth-degree sexual assault involving a 15-year-old girl.

Michael Avila, 35, appeared with Texarkana attorney John Pickett for a hearing Tuesday morning before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson at the Miller County jail courtroom. As part of his plea agreement, Avila must serve a four-year term of probation and pay a $1,000 fine. Avila must also register as a sex offender as a result of the felony conviction.

Avila’s misconduct with the girl occurred in a deer stand on Avila’s hunting lease on Miller County 306 in November 2016, according to a probable cause affidavit. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell told Johnson that the victim and her mother requested that Avila receive a term of probation.

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Since his arrest in October 2017, Avila has been free on a $25,000 bond with an order prohibiting him from having contact with the victim. However, his bond conditions did not include an order prohibiting contact with other minors.

“It has come to my attention that Mr. Avila continues to attend ball games. As a registered sex offender he can no longer do that,” Mitchell said. “I have gotten calls from a number of concerned parents that he’s still at the ball field.”

Avila said that he was attending games inovlving his own child. Mitchell said Avila became acquainted with his victim through his activities as a softball coach.

Johnson told Avila that he cannot attend events where children are present as a registered sex offender.

The victim told a forensic interviewer at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center last year that while in a deer stand, Avila asked her about her relationships with boys and discussed his relationships. The girl said Avila kissed and “made out” with her in the deer stand and that at Avila’s request, she performed a sexual act on him.

During an interview Oct. 11, 2017, with Investigator Patsy DeHart of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office, Avila admitted to the sexual abuse.

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