At 6-foot-5 inches and 250 pounds, Trey Johnson is an imposing figure on or off the field. But when you watch him chasing ducks and skipping stones, it’s clear he’s just a 14-year-old kid.
"He's like a huge teddy bear. Not violent at all. Not so ever,” said his mother, Kori Lewis. “I mean, he looks intimidating because he's so tall. But if anyone knows my son, he's a gentle giant."
That’s why Lewis says she was so surprised when her son told her his coach, Paul Wilson, slapped him in the face during football practice. She and her son confronted Wilson and recorded the conversation.
Johnson: “When you hit me you hit me hard.”
Wilson: “Oh well, I didn’t, I apologize. I sure didn’t mean to hit him hard... I didn’t mean to smack him, slap him. I just, I just wanted to get his attention.”
Lewis says that wasn’t enough for the school to take her seriously, so she went to the police.
This week, Coach Wilson was convicted of misdemeanor simple assault and battery. The judge didn’t feel there was enough evidence to prove Coach Wilson slapped Johnson but did believe the coach put his hands on the student.
Wilson is still employed by the school, and Lewis says, the school is taking it out on her son, citing him for being excessively tardy.
"I was just at parent teacher conference and he had like eleven or twelve. And today, not even two weeks later, he has triple that. That's not even feasible. That's not possible,” said Lewis.
"My son is actually the only one, like having to pay for any of this stuff. And he didn't do anything wrong. He's the victim in the situation,” Lewis continued.
The school released a statement that says:
“A decision by a judge in Warr Acres municipal court on Wednesday night closes the matter of allegations by a district family against a Putnam City High School football coach.
In the course of explaining his decision, the judge said he did not believe the coach slapped a player, which is consistent with finding in investigations by Putnam City Campus Police and district administrators. The judge’s decision included the provision that the case will be dismissed if no other issues arise in the next 30 days.
The coach, school and district consider the situation resolved and look forward to the opportunity for all parties to move forward.”
Lewis says that’s not good enough.
"I definitely think he's dangerous,” said Lewis.
"We are supposed to teach our children right from wrong. How are we teaching right from wrong if we're allowing a teacher to hit a kid and had no repercussion whatsoever?” questions Lewis.