Ex-skating coach enters guilty plea in rape of 2 girls

October 18, 1991|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Correspondent

ANNAPOLIS -- A former roller-skating coach pleaded guilty yesterday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to raping two of his teen-age son's girlfriends -- one of them a 12-year-old member of his skating team.

The 37-year-old former coach of the Laurel Lasers speed-skating team faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for his guilty plea to two counts of second-degree rape. The Jessup man, whose name is being withheld to protect the juveniles' identities, could have been sentenced to life in prison had he been convicted of the first-degree rape charges originally lodged against him instead of plea bargaining.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen E. Rogers told the court that the man, who was out on parole after serving part of a prison sentence for housebreaking, first raped the 12-year-old in July 1990 in an equipment room at the Laurel Skating Center. The man then "called for [his 14-year-old son] and told him it was his turn," Ms. Rogers said.

The son, who prosecutors say also was present when his father got the girl drunk and raped her in his trailer home in August 1990, is scheduled to stand trial as a juvenile on rape charges next month. Ms. Rogers said the man raped the 12-year-old four times in his trailer, threatening to show others a videotape he had made of the rape at the roller rink if the girl did not consent.

The former coach also admitted to repeatedly raping a 14-year-old Old Mill High School student in the back of his van. In those cases, the man picked up his son and the girl from school, bought liquor for the girl and drove to a secluded area near Crownsville where he raped her, according to the prosecutor.

The son held the girl's hand while his father raped her, "trying to comfort her, saying, 'It'll all be over soon,' " Ms. Rogers said.

Yesterday, the man answered Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.'s questions in a quiet voice. His behavior was in marked contrast to the brashness he had displayed in July when the judge revoked his bond for threatening a 13-year-old girl who was a potential witness.

Ms. Rogers said she will ask for the maximum sentence allowed under the plea bargain -- a total of 40 years on the second-degree rape convictions with all but 10 years suspended -- at the man's Dec. 11 sentencing.

"He was in a position where the kids were trusting him, the kids were respecting him, and the kids looked up to him," she said. "I have reason to believe there are more victims, and I'm hoping anyone who has any more information will come forward now that he is incarcerated."

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