A former Van Buren School District employee accused of having sex with a minor student pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Crawford County Circuit Court.
Katherine Nicole Eskridge, 25, of Fort Smith is charged with first-degree sexual assault.
According to an affidavit, the victim stated he was a 17-year-old student at Van Buren High School when the sexual relationship with Eskridge began in March.
The victim stated he would get a ride from Eskridge after school and she would take him to her residence, the affidavit states. On two occasions, the defendant and victim had sex in Van Buren and the rest of the time the sex occurred in Fort Smith, according to the affidavit.
Forensic analysis of the boy’s phone revealed Eskridge sent nude photos of herself while he was a student, according to a Van Buren Police Department report.
During the five months the alleged sexual relationship occurred, Eskridge was a volleyball and physical education coach for the school district and in a position of trust or authority over the student, according to the police report.
Attorney Jered Medlock entered the not guilty plea for Eskridge, who is free on $5,000 bond and waived formal arraignment before Judge Gary R. Cottrell.
Other pleas heard Wednesday by Cottrell were:
• Custodio Palomares, 46, of Van Buren pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment, aggravated assault on a family or household member and first-degree terroristic threatening. Palomares allegedly locked his girlfriend in a bathroom Aug. 31, choked her and threatened to kill her.
• Ashley Adel Ruiz, 29, of Van Buren pleaded not guilty to furnishing prohibited articles, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methadone and possession of Xanax. Ruiz was arrested Sept. 1 following a traffic stop on Rena Road and a K9 alert to paraphernalia in her car. When being booked into the detention center a deputy allegedly found meth, methadone and Xanax in her purse.
• Jackie Lee Thomas, 43, of Van Buren pleaded not guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine and habitual offender. Thomas was arrested Aug. 29 by a Van Buren police officer who responded to a report of a disturbance at a local apartment complex.
• Jeremy Lane Dykes, 36, of Greenwood pleaded not guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing in a vehicle, theft of property, fleeing on foot and habitual offender. Dykes was arrested Aug. 28 by a Van Buren police officer who was investigating a theft at a local auto parts store.
• Nathaniel Howard Hill, 20, of Decater, Neb., and Kykolas Jordan Dykes, 19, of Gonzales, La., pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft by receiving - firearms, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of alprazolam. Hill and Dykes were arrested Aug. 26 by an Arkansas State Police trooper who stopped a vehicle for speeding on Interstate 40.
• Kenneth Mikeal Tedford, 34, of Van Buren pleaded not guilty to second-degree battery on a law enforcement officer, first-degree terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, second-degree terroristic threatening and harassing communications. Tedford allegedly fought with a Van Buren officer Aug. 29 after police had been called when Tedford threatened the mother of his children.
• Kaylene Nicole Johnson, 23, of Booneville pleaded not guilty to theft by receiving, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Johnson was arrested March 16 during a parole search at a residence in the 1800 block of Cedar Street in Van Buren. She also pleaded not guilty to failure to appear at an arraignment on the charges.
• Stephanie Michelle Miles, 45, of Mountainburg pleaded not guilty to failure to appear at a March 4 hearing on a charge of theft of property.
• Joe Hughie Bell Jr., 50, of Van Buren resisted a petition to revoke a sentence he received Oct. 24, 2014, for residential burglary, theft of property, breaking or entering, criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing in a vehicle, alleging he was arrested Aug. 25 for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal use of prohibited weapon, driving while license suspended, no proof of insurance and driving a vehicle without tags.
• Amber Michelle Sanders, 33, of Van Buren resisted a petition to revoke a sentence she received March 12, 2014, for theft of property, alleging she failed to do community service.
• Veronica Lee Cogburn, 31, of Fort Smith resisted a petition to revoke a sentence she received April 24, 2013, for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal impersonation, alleging she has failed to do community service.
• Amy Danielle Corbett, 31, of Greenwood resisted a petition to revoke a sentence she received March 8, 2013, for second-degree forgery and failure to appear, alleging she has failed to do community service.
• Mitchell Odean Provence, 33, of Mountainburg resisted a petition to revoke a sentence he received Dec. 7, 2012, for third-degree domestic battery, alleging he has failed to pay fines and court costs.
• Dustin Dale Limbocker, 31, of Alma resisted a petition to revoke a sentence he received Jan. 21, 2009, for breaking or entering and first-degree criminal mischief, alleging he was arrested Sept. 2 for aggravated assault and first-degree terroristic threatening.