By: Lisa Licata, Director, Professional Administrators
National Alliance for Youth Sports
After reading an article last week in the San Francisco Chronicle, it left me shaking my head. I decided to Google the name of the convicted felon (and registered sex-offender) who served his time and is now back on the youth sports scene in Honolulu. Back in 2007, Frederick Rames, who pleaded no contest under a plea agreement, was convicted of molesting six boys. He was released from prison last year and now is helping a soccer club as an administrator and assistant coach.
Are you shaking your head too??
Apparently the administrators and the parents whose children play in the program are OK with this. Part of being a registered sex-offender is that you are not allowed to have contact with minors unless another adult is present. So apparently this program must have an abundance of volunteers to keep an eye on this guy – and everyone there must think that he is one heck of a volunteer – NOT! I can’t believe that this program doesn't have policies and procedures in place to eliminate registered sex-offenders from volunteering!
But when I re-read the article I realized it stated that his "friend" runs the league and that he doesn't disclose his past unless asked. Both of these points seem like a recipe for disaster!
Earlier this year, when NAYS was gathering information to update the Guidelines for Screening Volunteers, I remember speaking with an expert from the volunteer/pre-employment screening field who told me that past behavior is a great indicator of future behavior. It appears that this program does not screen its volunteers (since I assume that if it did, they would have some disqualifiers that would exclude a registered sex-offender). For the sake of the children and families that have already been hurt by Mr. Rames, as well as the countless people currently involved with this soccer programs – this program needs to re-think its actions.