Former school coach accused of inappropriate contact with girl

PORTLAND, Ore. - A former school coach made his first court appearance Thursday, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an under-aged girl he coached.

Deonte Huff worked at Catlin Gabel school, a private school in Southwest Portland where he coached middle school sports.

The school fired him on Tuesday, which was the same day one of the staff at the school called police after hearing a student accused Huff of inappropriate sexual contact.

Police arrested Huff the next day.

He appeared in Washington County Circuit Court charged with second-degree sexual abuse.

Catlin Gabel hired Huff in 2010. On Thursday, the school declined an on-camera interview but shared a letter it sent to faculty, families and board members.

"In the spirit of transparency and open dialogue, I am writing with troubling news," wrote Lark Palma, who is head of the school.

Palma acknowledged Huff's arrest and went on to say the school's "faculty and staff are well aware of our obligations as mandatory reporters of possible student abuse. We have and will continue to fully comply with those requirements. We also verify all employees' backgrounds through fingerprint and criminal records checks."

Huff's criminal record shows no felonies or sex crimes.

The school also said it does not believe there were any other students involved.

Huff coached track, basketball and volleyball part time for three years.