A youth soccer coach who met a 9-year-old player on camera is charged with child abuse, prosecutors said.
A coach identified as Gerrell Williams came under fire after video emerged of hitting the minor twice at the National Youth Football Championships (AYF) in Kissimmee, Florida, in December. 7th.
Several popular sports icons condemned Williams, who also served as an adviser to the detention center for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, for his actions. That list included NBA star LeBron James and former NFL players Bruce Smith and Shannon Sharpe, TMZ reported.
« The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and our local prosecutor have been investigating this case and it has been decided that child abuse charges will be brought regardless of the parents’ decision not to prosecute, » said Major Jacob Ruiz.
He described the coach’s actions as « despicable » and said there was « zero tolerance » for child abuse.
An investigation was opened after Williams’ videos made the rounds on social media. Williams was released from the Sheriff’s Office Detention Center in Chatham County not long after and was immediately banned from all American youth football activities, according to a previous TMZ report.
« The trainer has been indefinitely banned from all future AYF events and activities, » said Adam Laufer, executive vice president of AYF. AYF is a huge youth soccer league with a presence in all 50 states and six countries.
The 9-year-old’s mother was reluctant to file charges when investigators asked her how to proceed. However, prosecutors are confident that the videos alone, along with some testimony from witnesses, would be enough to prove Williams’ guilt.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was outraged when he saw the footage. He said that if he had been there, he would have attacked the guy and fought him.
« If I were there and it wasn’t even my kid, we would certainly have more than just words, » said James.
American Football, Player, Head Coach, Florida Gators Football, Georgia Bulldogs Football
World News – AU – Youth soccer coach who twice accused 9-year-old child of child abuse, report says
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