Sexual Assault Suspect Takes the Witness Stand

Det. Phillip Lavarious
Det. Phillip Lavarious

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- A youth soccer coach, accused of sexually assaulting several boys in his care, takes the witness stand in a Honolulu courtroom Thursday.  Frederick Rames wants the statements he made to police following his arrest kept out of his upcoming trial.

Prosecutors say Rames confessed to the sexual assaults during the police interrogation last September.  But the defense argues the suspect was tired, and that investigators knew he had an attorney but conducted the interview without his lawyer present.

The soccer coach and foster parent appears to have lost a lot of weight while in custody.  He's accused of fondling several boys at his home in Wahiawa.

Thursday, detectives testified that before the interrogation, Rames waived his right to an attorney and voluntarily made incriminating statements.

"Did Mr. Rames appear apprehensive?" Douglas Chin, deputy prosecutor, asked.

"No, not at all," Det. Phillip Lavarias, Honolulu Police Department, said.

"Did he appear nervous?  Did he appear uncomfortable?" Chin asked.

"No, very comfortable, very coherent, very friendly," Lavarias said.  "It appeared he really wanted to talk to us."

The defense says Rames' Constitutional rights were violated.

"I was getting uncomfortable with the kinds of questions they were asking," Rames testified.  "My understanding was that if I asked for an attorney, and I told them that I couldn't make a statement, then they would stop at that point.  And it didn't seem to be stopping."

The judge will issue his ruling Tuesday on whether a jury should hear Rames' statements to police.  The trial is set to begin next month.