Friday, February 8, 2008

I wanna kick his soccer balls!

Former Elk River coach charged

Eric Hawkins, left, and his attorney, Todd Kenyon, left the Sherburne County District Court on Wednesday after a hearing. Hawkins has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.

The banned youth soccer league coach is accused of molesting one of his players, a 14-year-old girl. He did not enter a plea.

By PAUL LEVY, Star Tribune

A former Elk River youth soccer league coach has been charged with two counts of sexual assault for allegedly asking a 14-year-old player to disrobe and then touching her, and, on another occasion, exposing himself to her -- more than a year after he had been banned from coaching.

Eric James Hawkins, 44, did not enter a plea Wednesday in Sherburne County District Court. He was charged in November with first- and second-degree sexual assault, both felonies.

Hawkins had been suspended by the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association in 2003 for sideline behavior during his games and should not have been allowed to coach MYSA-sanctioned teams, the association's executive director, Candace Daley, said Wednesday.

In October 2006, Hawkins was ordered by Hennepin County District Court to pay $220,000 to the MYSA after he and five other defendants were found sending defamatory e-mails concerning the MYSA, Daley said.

Court documents said he had driven the player to practice and games on several occasions during the winter of 2004-2005. But one evening, en route to a soccer clinic in Plymouth, the coach pulled over on a road unfamiliar to the girl, parked his car and asked the girl to remove her shirt and bra, the girl told authorities.

According to court records, the girl told Hawkins she did not want to remove her clothes, but the coach insisted. Hawkins then told her to remove her pants and when the girl balked, the coach told her "that she needed to," according to court documents.

Hawkins then touched the girl, even though she asked him to stop, the girl told authorities. After Hawkins allowed the girl to put on her clothes, he threw $25 at her, according to court documents.

Later, in the fall of 2005, Hawkins was driving the girl, still 14, to a soccer game when he pulled his car over, unbuttoned his pants and exposed himself to her, court records state. Hawkins then forced the girl to touch him with her hand. She pulled away, telling him it was "gross."

Court records indicate that Hawkins had been suspended by the MYSA for inappropriate language and taunting during games, according to MYSA records.

Hawkins' court hearing lasted less than five minutes; another hearing is scheduled for April 4. Hawkins, who coached in the Elk River United youth league, told Judge Alan Pendelton that he now lives in South Carolina.

Hawkins did not respond to a reporter's questions after the hearing.

Under MYSA's risk-management policy, youth soccer leagues are responsible for background checks for coaches and are made aware of the risks to children of adults who have committed previous sexual offenses.

Hawkins is not known to have had any criminal history prior to these charges.


jo said...

hi my name is joanna,,i live in the uk..firstly
i really wish this young girl all the courage and prosperity in the world, you are very brave and strong!!! secondly this man needs to locked up and the key thrown away,if he has done it once he will do it again,, i dont agree with all the media he is getting..after all this young girl needs to heal and how can she do that when every were she looks its about her. so why dont you all back off and give her room to heal, jo

Csgirl said...

hey joanna, this is the girl from the article about the soccer coach.
i can not reveal my name, but i wanted to write you because i really appreciate you standing up for me. i have had a lot of criticism from many people and it was especially nice to have someone on my side. and we will get him, and put him in jail. he won't ever be able to hurt another little girl out there.
thanks so much