Hannah Saad
The Perspective
Plymouth-Canton Educational Park
1st Place
Division 1, News Writing
Online Breaking News Coverage

Eric Locke, a Canton varsity hockey assistant coach, has been arraigned on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving an under-aged female student who, according to Hometown Life, is a student at P-CEP. Locke has been removed from his coaching position. According to the Detroit Free Press, Locke, 20, is accused of having a sexual relationship with the student between the months of November and February.

“It was more an element of shock and surprise. We didn’t think that he [Locke] would be involved in something like that,” said Brendan Kacic, Canton senior and member of the Canton Varsity Hockey team.

While school officials would not comment on whether or not Locke is a former Park student, Jack Ngwe, Salem senior, said that Locke attended the Park two years ago.

Monica Merritt, Superintendent of P-CCS, said in a press release that Locke has been removed from services within the district as a result of these allegations, citing Board Policy 3213, which states that a professional staff member may not associate with students in a manner that gives the appearance of impropriety. The policy also states that any sexual or inappropriate conduct with a student by a staff member will subject the staff member to possible criminal charges, and gives the Board the power to terminate said employee.

Locke was hired through a third party company, Coach EZ, a vendor of P-CCS. In a media release, Fredericka Hayes, Corporate Human Resources Director and Compliance Officer of Coach EZ, said that Coach EZ was notified of a concern involving Locke earlier in the week and consistent with their procedures, Coach EZ removed Locke from all access to assignments in the schools that Coach EZ serves. “In unusual cases such as this, our first priority is to follow policies and procedures that ensure the safety and support of the students. Like the local district, our commitment and focus is on providing a quality services to the families and children. Coach EZ is known for this and we will continue to strive for excellence in education in every district that we serve,” said Hayes.

According to Hometown Life, Locke has been released on a $500,000 personal bond, but he has been placed on a tether. Locke has been ordered to stay off school property, including school sponsored activities off campus, and is to have no contact with minors, including the victim. Locke is set for a probable cause hearing on March 10, and his preliminary examination is on March 17.

UPDATE: At his scheduled Probable Cause Conference on March 10 Locke’s attorney motioned to adjourn this hearing for six weeks in order to gain evidence for his defense. This motion was granted and his Conference is now scheduled for April 17.