For a couple of years now, I’ve been tracking a couple of cases I found in the SafeSport registry.
In the first, soccer trainer Shelby Garigen was sent to prison when she met up with a 18-year-old player for sex and found police waiting for her instead of the player. Meeting up for sex was legal. She was convicted of “child pornography” because he sent her some pictures when he was 17, which is still New York’s age of consent but apparently applicable only to actual sex, not pictures. His well-connected parents spoke on his behalf even though he was 18 when she was arrested and 19 at the time of her sentencing. A geriatric judge tossed out her appellate lawyer’s motion one day after it was submitted. The U.S. Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) let the verdict and sentence stand. Maybe their hands were tied, but I’m still skeptical.
The case, prior to the Court of Appeals decision, is all detailed here:
Why is a New York court obsessed with putting a trainer in prison?
When last we left the story of Shelby Garigen, the upstate New York soccer trainer facing “child pornography” charges…
I’ve been contrasting Garigen’s case with that of Juan Ramos, a South Florida soccer coach accused of starting a sexual relationship with a player when she was 13. The prosecution in this case was, shall we say, a little less zealous. The court somehow failed to notice that Ramos’ lawyer had moved his “office” into a UPS Store and didn’t follow up when its mail was returned. His UPS Store lawyer freed Ramos from a capias warrant (translation: “You didn’t show up for a hearing, so we’re going to arrest you — well, maybe, if we have time to look for you”) with the Steve Martin-esque “Oh, we didn’t know” defense.
Ramos’ defense, which veered into trying to shame someone over her actions when she was barely a teenager, was surely hampered a bit by the fact that, as reported by the Sun-Sentinel, he said he did indeed have sex with her: “Ramos acknowledged the sexual activity during an Aug. 24 meeting with the victim, which investigators audio- and video-recorded.”
On Thursday, Ramos was found guilty on the second of four counts against him.
His acquittal on the other three counts means little. Count 1 was tied to a specific date. Counts 3 and 4 were tied to specific acts.
Ramos Verdict | PDF | Probation | Public Law
Juan Ramos has been found guilty on one of the four counts of sexual battery with which he was charged.
You can look up the details of the charges if you like. Legal language somehow makes it sound even worse.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 31. Unless they find a way to delay that as well.
Update: Ramos was sentenced to 15 years. He has also been ordered to pay restitution of $10,095, but he has also been declared indigent. The judge also denied an appeal bond.