Wrestling coach charged with soliciting a minor

Aug. 05, 2013 @ 04:54 PM

A 43-year-old man who was acting as a wrestling coach is in jail after he allegedly sent texts to an undercover police officer who was posing as one of his students.

Edward Ronald Wilkerson, 43, of 115 Golden Rod Drive in Seymour, was charged over the weekend with solicitation of a minor. He was being held Monday at the Sevier County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

According to the arrest warrant, one of Wilkerson’s teenaged students had let adults know he had been sending her inappropriate texts.

After that, an undercover officer from Sevierville Police Department began posing as the student online. The department is part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Regional Task Force.

“Edward Wilkerson continued to send text messages,” the warrant states. “During the course of these text messages Edward Wilkerson told the 14-year-old girl that he loved her and wished to have a physical relationship with her. (He) asked the 14-year-old girl when she could meet with him and spend the night.”

Wilkerson allegedly planned a meeting with the teen for the Dynamite Quick Mart on Chapman Highway; he was arrested when he came to the store, police said.

Wilkerson is reportedly a volunteer coach with an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) wrestling team. While the team was operating at a county school, it was not affiliated with the school and Wilkerson was not a paid employee or coach for the Sevier County School system, officials said.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com