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Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
Youth-basketball coach accused of raping 2 girls
By Jennifer Sullivan
A Snohomish County youth-basketball coach has been accused of raping two of his players when they were both 9 years old.
The 44-year-old Brier man was arrested at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Friday while he was appearing at a custody hearing unrelated to the allegations.
His arrest came about a month after the alleged victims, two girls now 14 years old, told a mutual friend they had been raped while they played basketball for an Alderwood Boys & Girls Club team about five years ago. The girls' friend reported the allegations to authorities, prompting the investigation by the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, said sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen.
"They're the only two victims we're aware of," Jorgensen said.
The man was booked on investigation of first-degree child rape and two counts of investigation of first-degree child molestation, Jorgensen said. He bailed out of Snohomish County Jail yesterday.
Jorgensen did not know any details about the alleged rapes but said the girls came forward because they were concerned the man might victimize other children. She said that after the man left the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club, about the time the rapes are alleged to have occurred, he coached another area team for girls between the ages of 9 and 12.
The man, reached at home by phone yesterday, said he no longer coaches that team. He declined to comment on the allegations.
Officials at the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office said that because the man is out of jail, they are not required to file charges within two weeks of his arrest. They could not say when charges might be filed.
The Seattle Times generally does not name suspects before they are formally charged.
Elizabeth Bollinger, director of development at the Snohomish County Boys & Girls Club, said the man had volunteered as an assistant coach at the Alderwood branch at the time of the alleged rapes.
Jennifer Sullivan: 425-783-0604 or email@example.com
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