Still waiting for justice in soccer sexual abuse cases

Juan Ramos is a former pro soccer player — once drafted by the Miami Fusion — who embarked on a youth soccer coaching career.

In 2016, he was arrested and pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault by a custodian (not in the parental sex) with a sexual battery victim over 12 and under 18. The allegations: In 2003, he started a sexual relationship with a player he was training, and that continued for four years. When the alleged relationship started, the girl was 13 years old.

That arrest was five years ago. So where do we stand now?

When I checked in a year ago, the prosecution had offered evidence that Ramos admitted to sexual activity. The defense had countered that the accuser can’t give specific dates and also stalked Ramos.

But even before COVID-19 took its toll on court dockets around the country, this case had been continued and continued.

Things took a twist in March, when Ramos’ lawyer, Kevin Kulik, moved to drop his client, citing irreconcilable differences. That filing didn’t seem to change anything. The defense got another continuance in April. On May 1, the court set a Zoom hearing date of July 15, with Kulik still listed as the attorney. And on July 15, the defense got another continuance.

The next court date: Oct. 14.

Could such delays be helping the prosecution? They’ve filed three supplemental discovery documents, each including nothing but a single name and address.

However, the Assistant State Attorney prosecuting the case is now on family leave until Jan. 10. (Congratulations!)

And yet …

The court date set for Oct. 14 went forward as planned. And Ramos didn’t show.

A warrant is out to bring him in.

Might we finally see some action on this case? Is Kulik still his lawyer? Will they stick with the “a teenager was stalking me” defense?

Meanwhile, Shelby Garigen, the soccer trainer who was arrested when she turned up to have sex with a player who was above the age of consent for having sex but apparently not for sending pics on Snapchat, is still in prison. She hired a new lawyer who smashed the prosecution case in his filings, painting a convincing case that the parents of the “victim” leaned rather heavily on their status as prosecutors to bend the rules. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Western New York responded by adding a lawyer to its team.

The case is scheduled for Jan. 17. We’ll see if she actually gets her day in court before her scheduled release in September 2023.

Yes, I’ve written about all this before. Still waiting for someone to explain to me how this isn’t a massive double-standard. Still waiting for someone in the media to ask a few questions about their local courts.

Note: I’m moving ALL my blogging, except as it relates to the X Marks the Pod podcast, here to Mostly Modern Media, which I’ve kept since the mid-aughts.