Wrestling coach accused of child sex assault, faking cancer

- A volunteer wrestling coach is now behind bars  accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Before the charges, Zack Jones had a bad reputation in the community when it was discovered he faked cancer to get money.

Jones, 21, is being held on a number of charges including the alleged rape a 13-year-old boy between June and September.

One woman knows him and wants the book thrown at him.

"I hope he gets to do time," she said. "And I hope he doesn't get a slight slap on the wrist. I hope he gets what he deserves."

David Cuffe lives across the street from where Jones used to live.

"I've only met him once, I thought he was a nice," Cuffe said.

FOX 2: "Does he seem like a nice guy now?"

"No not so much," Cuffe said.

Also troubling, Jones was a volunteer wrestling coach at Highlander Way Middle School in Howell last year.

"All of our volunteers, teachers and staff members go through a criminal background check," said Tom Gould of Howell Public Schools. "This individual's background check came back clean."

Gould says the district sent a letter to parents of students on last year's wrestling team, making them aware of the charges against Jones which include four counts of criminal sexual conduct.

FOX 2: "Do you guys know if this alleged victim was a student at the school?"

"We don't know if he was a student at the school and if he was, we would not be able to say due to FERPA laws," Gould said.

Investigators also say Jones faked having leukemia. Police say he took in more than $8,000 in donations and that's not including cash he received at banquets and fundraisers.

"It's too close to home with people having cancer, real cancer, you see them suffering," Cuffe said.

Cuffe says one of his neighbors died from cancer and another is battling stage four lung cancer right now.

"For him to start perpetrating that, that's just like a sin on top of a sin," Cuffe said. "You don't go doing that and especially wanting money. It's one thing if you want sympathy from people, but not free money."

Jones is being held on a $2 million bond and if convicted of first degree sexual conduct - which is the most serious charge he is facing - he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories