Sex Assault Trial Comes to Grinding Halt as Soccer Coach Changes Plea - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sex Assault Trial Comes to Grinding Halt as Soccer Coach Changes Plea

William Harrison William Harrison
Douglas Chin Douglas Chin

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- A stunning turn of events in an Oahu courtroom Thursday. With opening statements in his trial set to get underway, a former youth soccer coach accused of sexually assaulting several boys decides to no longer fight the charges.

As the game is about to begin, a former soccer coach blows the whistle.

"He didn't want to put his family through any more," William Harrison, defense attorney, said. "He didn't want to put the children through any testimony in the courtroom. I mean, they have had enough as well."

"How do you plea -- guilty, not guilty or no contest?" the judge asked.

"No contest, your honor," the defendant replied.

Frederick Rames suddenly decides to plead no contest to eight counts of third-degree sex assault. After maintaining his innocence for a year, the long-time coach and foster parent now admits he molested six boys at his Wahiawa home.

"It took a lot of guts for them to be able to be willing to say something, and talk about someone who really they respected and admired," Douglas Chin, deputy prosecutor, said.

The 66-year-old must now register as a convicted sex offender.

The outcome of the case comes as a surprise to many in his community.

"He seemed ok," Pearla Kesolei, parent, said. "He had a lot of boys, foster boys, though. But he seemed, I didn't know him. He seemed ok. You know, I just didn't, I was shocked."

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors drop more serious sex assault charges that carry a punishment of 20 years in prison. Rames is expected to receive a five-year term.

"If it was any of my children or my granddaughter, that wouldn't be enough for me," Kesolei said about the sentence.

The embattled coach will receive his penalty December 5th. The Hawaii parole board will ultimately decide how much of the five years Rames must serve.

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