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Youth coach accused of sex offenses

A man working as a youth baseball coach has been accused of molesting one of the players under his supervision. The case has made headlines across Florida and the region and has left many parents and community members outraged. The source of their anger lies in the fact that the man was arrested under similar accusations in the past. Those sex offenses arrests did not lead to convictions, however, which is an important aspect of the matter.

The 47-year-old man is described as being a "longtime" coach with the Cooper City Optimist Club. In obtaining that position, he passed comprehensive background checks, including a criminal records check. Because the previous allegations of wrongdoing were dropped, his criminal record was clean. The organization only bars volunteers who have been convicted of certain crimes. Allegations that were dropped, dismissed or led to an acquittal are not considered impediments to volunteering.

According to police reports, the youth coach touched one of the ballplayers inappropriately while driving the child home and during multiple sleepovers. The man is alleged to have behaved inappropriately while playing a game with the child, although there are no additional details given as to the nature of the touching or the game. As the case moves forward, more information may become available.

When news of this type of arrest is made public, the community often has a strong reaction. Crimes against children are among the most distressing forms of wrongdoing that we face as a nation. That said, it must be emphasized that not every allegation results in a conviction, and individuals who are able to prove their innocence are entitled to move on with their lives. While it is still too early to know if this Florida youth coach is guilty of the sex offenses he stands accused of, he has the same right to be presumed innocent as anyone else.

Source: Miami Herald, "Youth baseball coach is accused "again" of molestation", Charles Rabin, July 24, 2015

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