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Posts Tagged ‘Sex Offenses

Bill would bar sex offenders from youth sports jobs

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Hearing that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has introduced a bill that would bar convicted sex offenders from youth jobs, including coaching and refereeing sports, you might think, aren’t they barred already?

Actually, in the case of nonpublic jobs — which is a lot of youth sports these days — that isn’t the case. Leagues have you fill out the I’m-not-a-convicted-child-molester forms for a background check, but that doesn’t mean the check is thorough, or that you’ll be booted out if it turns out you are indeed a child molester. In New York, the issue of predators working with youth came to light after reports that convicted child sex offenders were working as referees.

The Schumer-proposed bill goes a little something like this (from the Staten Island Advance):

Currently, registered sex offenders can hold various positions that require direct contact with children, such as martial arts instructor, dance instructor, music instructor, magician, clown, amusement park and carnival worker, sports, recreation and entertainment center worker, video arcade employee, child theme party store worker, private tutor, coach for youth sports, youth mentoring facility worker and children museum worker.

Schumer’s legislation would amend current federal law to prevent explicitly convicted and registered sex offenders from accepting paid or volunteer employment positions which by their inherent nature places an individual in direct and substantial contact with minors.

Well, there go any campaign contributions Schumer might get from USA Swimming.

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Written by rkcookjr

June 15, 2010 at 1:20 am

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 Badjocks.com.

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.

1182191346_410bd47c8f“Tra-la-LAAA!”

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.