The girl’s relationship with Larry S. Madden started innocent enough: text messages about baseball, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in Cherokee County (Kan.) District Court.

The former high school coach was helping the teen with her hitting, according to the affidavit. She would see him at The Hit Zone — the business he operated near Baxter Springs, Kansas — and they would talk college sports. She was a Jayhawks fan and he backed the Sooners.

They made a bet on an Oklahoma-Kansas game and she lost. When she asked what she owed him, he simply demurred and told her he liked her. She replied that she liked him, too.

Then came the first time they kissed and his suggestion that they start using a private text messaging application so his wife would not be able to detect their communications on phone bills, all leading up to the day in the spring of 2013 when Madden picked her up and took her to his parents’ home in Baxter Springs since they were gone and they had sex.

Afterward, they sat on a swing set behind the house and Madden asked how it had been for her. She hadn’t known what to tell him since it was her first time and she had no idea how she was suppose to feel, the girl told investigators in March of this year.

The teen’s account of her alleged seduction and repeated sexual encounters with the older Joplin man, and the subsequent discovery that she was pregnant, eventually led to 15 felony counts being filed.

Madden, 45, was charged in September with seven counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, six counts of indecent liberties with a child and single counts of criminal sodomy and indecent solicitation of a child. DNA tests allegedly determined that there was a 99.999 percent probability that he is the father of the child the girl eventually bore.

The affidavit detailing grounds for the charges was made public this past week in response to open records requests of local media, including The Joplin Globe. The document lists the alleged victim’s birth year as 1998 and states that she was 15 when the various offenses took place.

Madden was a physical education teacher and weight-training instructor at Baxter Springs High School from 1993 through 2007. He was assistant baseball coach from 1993 through 2000, head girls softball coach from 2001 through 2005, head football coach from 2004 through 2007 and head baseball coach in 2006 and 2007. He resigned from all positions in 2007.

Court documents allege that Madden had sexual intercourse with the girl on several occasions between May 1, 2013, and Feb. 28 of this year.

According to the affidavit, the girl told investigators with Baxter Springs police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that they had sex at both his house and her family’s house in addition to the home of his parents. On one occasion, she was invited to dinner with his family at his parents’ house. After the meal, his parents went upstairs to lie down and his wife left for Joplin. The girl watched a movie with Madden and two of his children downstairs until the children fell asleep, at which time, he invited her into another room, where they again had sex.

 The last time they got together, in February of this year, the thought occurred to her that she been impregnated that very day. She told her mother as much the next night and her mother bought her a pregnancy test that turned up positive.

When she told Madden, he “freaked out,” she told investigators. She told him she had $300 saved up and he gave her another $100, putting it in her mailbox, according to the affidavit. When she and her mother went to Kansas City to see about an abortion, she learned that she was 23 weeks along and she would have to carry the child to term, according to the affidavit.

She told investigators her parents still did not know that Madden was responsible for her pregnancy. He advised her to make up a story about a party at which she supposedly slept with a stranger. Her parents never bought the story and eventually she was forced to tell them about Madden, according to the affidavit.

Madden was placed on house arrest with GPS monitoring after posting $300,000 in bonds pending his next court hearing Jan. 5. His preliminary hearing is currently set for Feb. 12-13.


Court records indicate that police have telephone records, a store receipt and store surveillance video implicating Larry Madden in an illicit relationship with a 15-year-old girl. 

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.