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Softball coach fired for employing sex offender husband — it gets weirder

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A little inside True/Slant baseball. This morning I got an email from the site’s own Kashmir Hill, saying she thought of me when she saw a story about a private school volleyball coach busted for kissing a 14-year-old girl. (This school, Brooklyn Poly Prep Country Day, is still reeling from the realization its late, longtime football coach was a child predator.) I thanked Kashmir for thinking of me, hoping it was because of this blog and not because I’ve given any indication of being a perv myself. I also mentioned that given the volumen of stories I see, I could probably make this site nothing but coach/student sex scandals (“That’s depressing,” Kashmir responded). I said I would leave most of that to

Well, thanks to Badjocks, I discovered a story that goes beyond the pale of the usual coach/student ickiness.

So in Palm Desert, Calif., the high school softball coach, Ashley Nieto, got fired for having a sex offender helping her out. That sex offender: her husband, Ronald Nieto. That husband’s victim: the softball coach herself.

But to crib a line from the great Captain Underpants series — OK, maybe a principal who runs around in his underpants is not the best literary character to cite in a piece like this — but before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this one.


According to the Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.), Ashley Nieto, used her husband an assistant in 2004, until the district informed her and other coaches that every coach would have to be fingerprinted for a background check. Coach Nieto told the school about her husband’s sex offender past — a 1998 guilty plea to two counts of lewd activity with child younger than 16 — and was told her husband’s services in the dugout were no longer needed.

Except that he eventually made his way back to the dugout and helped work out the kids. The Nietos said there was a vendetta because a deputy district attorney’s daughter didn’t make varsity, although several parents came forward over the summer to tell the school Ronald Nieto worked with the girls on conditioning drills. Vendetta or not, and even though there was no evidence he ever harmed any Palm Desert player, Ronald Nieto couldn’t be working with the team.  and on Dec. 3, Ronald Nieto pleaded not guilty on Dec. 3 to charges of not disclosing his sex offender status, working with minors as a registered sex offender and being on campus without school officials’ permission.

Now about that Ashley-being-a-victim-of-Ronald thing.

Ronald’s conviction came when he was 38, and Ashley was 14. (He is now 50, she, 26.) Her contention is that she never wanted to press charges, but that her father demanded them. Parents just don’t understand, do they?

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Apparently, neither do the police, the school district, or just about anyone else. There is a time and place to argue that maybe we’ve gone overboard with putting people in the sex offender list (someone arrested for peeing outside? Really?), but this isn’t that place. If Ashley Nieto needs to work out her daddy issues or whatever with her aged husband, that’s her business. The Palm Desert softball team doesn’t need to be a part of it. That’s depressing.

Video shows coach getting toes licked by 14-year-old player on crowded bus

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Via, your one-stop shop for athletic antics, comes a story from Mooresville, Ind., about a coach who apparently always seemed a little creepy, and then moved into the creeptastic stratosphere when video emerged of him have his toes licked — on a school bus — by a 14-year-old junior varsity softball player. Hey, I thought the school bus was only for 13-year-old girls giving hummers in the back row!

1243377656_710292c101Ha ha! Fooled you, fetishists searching for “toe licking”!

From WRTV in Indianapolis:

A battle is brewing between some parents and the Mooresville Consolidated School Corp. over a teacher some feel is involved too intimately with children.

A 41-second cell phone video shows a junior varsity softball player licking the toes of teacher Jody Monaghan, a former softball coach, 6News’ Jack Rinehart reported.”There were 14-year-olds on that bus. I know several of them. I’ve known them since they were little girls,” said parent Lenny Adair. “It’s inappropriate at best.”

Let me stop right there for a moment. Given what’s to come in the rest of the article, everything at the beginning sounds like massive understatement. A teacher having his toes licked by a 14-year-old in front of other kids on a school bus is “inappropriate at best”? Dude, with an attitude like that, R. Kelly is going to be stopping over at your house real soon. (To be fair, this was a dad who put a stop to Monaghan texting his daughter at all hours, so R. Kelly should know that inappropriate at best means you should try another house.)

Anyway, onto more of the story:

But that wasn’t the only incident parents consider inappropriate. Superintendent Curt Freeman was aware of another incident in which Monaghan sent inappropriate text messages to some students. In both cases, Freeman said Monaghan used poor judgment, but Monaghan now coaches the girl’s swim team.

Parents said Monaghan has been engaging in inappropriate contact with children for years. Sheila Reecer’s daughter said some of the behavior she had witnessed between Monaghan and her teammates happened to her, too. “She came home and she was real upset and she goes, ‘Mom, I need to talk to you about something that happened during softball,'” Reecer said. “She said she had walked past him in the dugout a couple of times, he would just rub his hand across her stomach.”

Rob Allen said incidents reached beyond the softball field and that Monaghan disciplined his daughter in a classroom in front of her classmates. “He bent her over his lap and spanked her, and I didn’t find this out until later on down the road,” Allen said. Sheila Helton said she pulled her 15-year-old daughter off the softball team after Monaghan began sending her text messages she felt were inappropriate.”She came to me one day and said, ‘Mom, I think my coach is weird,'” Helton said. “11:30, 12 o’clock at night, some of the messages were, ‘What are you doing? I’m bored.'” …

Helton said contact with her daughter went beyond texting and got uncomfortably physical after Monaghan allegedly told her daughter that she didn’t need her knee wrapped, but rubbed. … While Monaghan no longer coaches softball, his new position as swim coach gives some parents pause. “So they go from softball uniforms to girls in bathing suits. Go figure that, and I don’t like it,” Adair said. Freeman and Monaghan refused repeated requests to be interviewed for this story.

In a follow-up story posted today (Nov. 25), WRTV reports that the Indiana Department of Education is investigating to see whether Monaghan’s conduct went “too far.” If it didn’t, except a lot of shoeless teachers on girls’ sports team school buses. And yet, no word on the school itself investigating whether Monaghan’s contact was, well, inappropriate at best. Though I suspect the people running the Mooresville schools are worried about their own heads if they did a Catholic-style, transfer-the-priest-to-another-parish move by taking a creepy coach in softball and shuffling him to the girls’ swim team. Also, there’s no word yet on any criminal investigation, assuming there will be one, related to the video.

One lesson for you parents out there: if you think a teacher or coach is acting a little strange, it never hurts to ask the other parents if they’ve ever seen or heard anything, or see if parents of older kids ever heard of odd behavior, or bring it up to the school right away, even if it as apparently slow to move as Mooresville. Chances are, what you’re seen or heard isn’t the first time a teacher or coach has been inappropriate at best.

Written by rkcookjr

November 25, 2009 at 11:43 pm