Tag Archives: football

Manatee Country School Board Protects Football Coach, puts Students in Danger

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Manatee High School Hurricanes running backs coach Rod Frazier, age 35, has been charged.

In 2011, the citizens of the United States were enraged at how Penn State school officials were covering up a child molester in order to protect its football program. In 2012, Americans were shocked at how the community of Steubenville, Ohio, was protecting several high school football players of raping a 16-year-old girl. In 2013, I found out that my own hometown school board was protecting its football program. In July 2013, Manatee High School assistant football coach Rod Frazier was charged with seven counts of misdemeanor battery after being accused of inappropriately touching and interacting with female students. As the Bradenton Police Department dove deeper into its investigation, it discovered how Manatee County School Board knew about two allegations, yet allowed him to continue to coach while he was being investigated and was on paid leave. The police also discovered how other Manatee High School employees also witnessed Frazier’s abnormal behavior with female students, but nothing was done to protect the students. Bradenton is now a town that treasures its football program more than the well-being of the students.

Frazier’s Downward Spiral

Manatee High School has five official football state championships, the most recent one being in 2011. Throughout the 2012 season, the football team, the Hurricanes, was ranked #1 in the nation before losing in the playoffs in December. Frazier attended and played football at Manatee High School and University of Florida and he returned to Manatee High School in 2001 to become the assistant football coach. In 2006, he was hired as a parent liaison, the person to whom referrals and other disciplinary actions are first reported at the school, and the weightlifting coach – these two positions now gave him contact with female students.  In 2007, Frazier’s life began a downward spiral: a bank foreclosed his home, the court ordered him to pay child support, and he was arrested for violating a restraining order by his estranged wife. The restraining order was filed after Frazier’s former wife claim he choked her and used cocaine. The wife never pressed charges, so Frazier was released from prison and returned to his job at Manatee High School.

Investigation Begins

On November 15, 2012, Frazier was placed on paid leave pending an investigation of improper conduct. He was instructed to stay off of school board property until further notice, BUT he shows up at Manatee High School the next day to coach the first football playoff game of the season. On January 9, 2013, a letter from a former female student is brought to Manatee High School principal Don Sauer’s office. The letter claims Frazier inappropriately touched the female student, met her in a park, and asked for a naked picture. The student transferred to Palmetto High School to get away from Frazier. On January 10, the student and her mother are interviewed by Debra Horne, the school district investigator (who has been investigated Frazier since November). On January 24, Horne requests to be transferred to another administrative position, “due to a number of unjustified issues that have impacted me personally and professionally.” After the Bradenton Herald-Tribune published a story about how the school board is investigating Frazier, the Bradenton Police Department launches its own investigation on February 7 and Frazier is placed on paid leave…again.

Witnesses Come Forward

The first time Frazier did something inappropriate was August 2008 and the last time was December 2012. During the investigation, the first victim claims Frazier touched her, sent her text messages, asked for naked photos, and told her that he loved her. The student claims she was in Frazier’s office more than 100 times; there was even a time when Frazier pulled her onto his lap in front of another employee, but the employee never reported the incident. Even though other school employees saw a female student go into an adult male’s office with the door closed numerous times, not one of them said anything or questioned why a student is there and not in class. A former parent liaison at the high school, Adinah Torres, has come forward with information about Frazier; she claims he inappropriately rubbed his leg against hers while she was in his office being trained. She reported him to her supervisor, yet nothing was done.  Torres also witnessed girls entering his office and sitting on Frazier’s desk so as soon as she could, Torres found a new job and left Manatee High School due to the uncomfortable environment Frazier caused. Another student claims he slapped her on the buttocks several times and only stopped after she got firm with him. At the moment, the victims include a total of four female students and three female teachers. Bradenton residents have also come forward saying how they and other parents saw how Frazier inappropriately touched female students during weightlifting meets – they claim he would rub up against girls and stroke them. The police say there are at least 50 people who witnessed Frazier’s inappropriate behavior over the years.

School Board Fails

The original school board investigation began on November 15, 2012. Interim Superintendent David Gayler claims the investigation was based on “rumors and innuendos about inappropriate relationships with students.” Even if it’s just rumors, the school board should still take a case seriously and report it to the police since there are children involved. It’s becoming too common for teachers abusing their powers to take control of students. My own high school, Lakewood Ranch High School (which is also in Bradenton), had its own trouble with a track coach sleeping with a 17-year-old female student. Though the student claimed it was consensual (which doesn’t exist when an adult is sleeping with an underage student), Ernest Lee Jones received 5 years in prison. When asked about how Frazier was placed on November 15, but showed up the next day to coach a football game, Gayler stated “If he went back to work after a day, then they couldn’t find anything to attach the complaint.” Frazier was placed on paid leave and ordered not to go on school board property, which includes the school, but he ignored it and went to the high school to coach football. Frazier should not be allowed on school property when he is being investigated for abusing students. Gayler says nothing was discovered about Frazier, but what investigation lasts less than two days? Was there even an official investigation? Horne was in charge of the investigation in November and was given a list of four female students to contact by assistant football coach, Steve Gulash, but she never did! Horne was in charge of finding out if Frazier was abusing four female students, but she never bothered to contact them. When the investigation was re-launched in January after the former student delivered the letter, she asked to be transferred to a new position; she is now an assistant principal at Prine Elementary School. Horne’s job was to determine if Frazier was a threat to children, yet she never bothered to ask one student and now she’s in charge of young children; do you feel safer knowing she’s there? There is also no proof that Manatee High School and the Manatee County School Board reported the potential crimes to the police, which they must do by law.

Bullying

After the first female student came forward about Frazier, she became a victim of cyber bullying because we live in a world where a female is automatically a slut if she is a victim. Gulash saw the bullying on her Facebook page and reported it to the police in April 2013, but he was reprimanded by the school board for not reporting it to his superiors first (even though he went to the Manatee High School principal). Gulash claims he and other staff members were being harassed by Manatee County administrators involved in Frazier’s case and says several employees and students will not come forward because they are afraid of the consequences (the students don’t want to be bullied by fellow students and the teachers don’t want to lose their job in a county that is not hiring teachers for the next year). The mother of the girl being teased also reported bullying to Palmetto High School but nothing was done and the Palmetto Police Department says there is not enough evidence was there for there to be a crime. A high school employee used his power to abuse girls, yet he was protected while the girls are labeled sluts and are teased by fellow students. When does football become more important than a child? When does football become more important than a human being? Never.

Charges are filed

On April 1, Bradenton Police recommend that Frazier be charged and on July 19, the State Attorney’s office charges Frazier with seven counts of misdemeanor battery and three counts of interference with the attendance of a student in school, which are second degree misdemeanors. On July 23, Superintendent Rick Mills announces that the district will reopen its investigation into the Frazier case (because they did such a great job the first two times). On July 25, hundreds of pornographic images are found on Frazier’s school computer and now the police department is trying to discover if the porn is current or former Manatee High School students. Frazier officially resigned  the next day and is now waiting to be arraigned August 8. Besides Frazier, the Bradenton Police force recommends that former assistant superintendent Bob Gagnon, former school investigator Debra Horne, former Manatee High School assistant principal Matthew Kane, and current Manatee High School assistant principal Greg Faller should be charged with failing to report child abuse and lying to the police. As members of the school board, their number one job is the protect children, but none of them did. All of them are still working and at the moment, none of them have been charged even though failing to report suspected child abuse is a crime. They all knew something was going on, yet not one of them did anything to save a child from a monster.

Frazier is not the only criminal

Rod Frazier was an assistant football coach at one of the top high school football programs in the nation. He knew he had power and he abused it by inappropriately touching female students and staff members for several years. Several students, parents, and employees knew Frazier was abusing students, but when it was reported to the Manatee County School board, nothing was done! Debra Horne, a female adult who should care about the interests of female students, failed to investigate the allegations correctly. If the Bradenton Herald-Tribune didn’t write about the allegations in January 2013, then the Bradenton Police Department would never have known about Frazier since NO ONE contacted the police, which is the correct protocol when a CHILD IS SUSPECTED OF BEING ABUSED.  After the Penn State incident, Florida passed the strictest law in the nation for anyone who fails to report child abuse – a possible five year prison sentence. Manatee High School and Manatee County School Board decided that football was more important than children – everyone involved in protecting a monster deserves to face the consequences.

Resources:

Manatee High assistant football coach investigated

Update: Manatee High coach Frazier resigns

Coach protecting student in Frazier case reprimanded

State abuse law passed after Penn State applies in Frazier case

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Steubenville Rape Trial Begins

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If you have not heard of this case, please read Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges and Steubenville Gang Rape Case: February Update for more information.

Trent Mays, 17, left, Ma’lik Richmond,16, and Richmond’s attorney Walter Madison before the trial began Wednesday. (Keith Srakocic, Associated Press / March 13, 2013)

Steubenville, Ohio used to be a thriving town. But when the steel mills closed, most of the residents moved away. Residents still continue to move away since there are not many jobs available, and the jobs that are available don’t pay much;the median income is only $33,000. Then in 2005, the local high school football team won the State Championship… a team that few people believed in. Then the team won again in 2006, providing hope to a town that needed it. There is no question that high school football is important to the town; after all, the football stadium has 10,000 seats while the town’s population is 18,659. Now, two members of the football team are being accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party. Now, all of America is watching Steubenville.

Wide receiver Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, and quarterback Trent Mays, 17, are being charged with rape. Richmond is accused of raping the girl by penetrating her vaginally with his finger while Mays is charged with rape for using his hands to vaginally penetrate and then distributing child pornography. Mays is also accused of trying to engage in oral sex, but was unable to and instead masturbated on her while at the home of another student. His DNA was found on a blanket at the scene of the crime. The defense attorneys will be arguing that the victim was able to give her consent and that the sex was consensual. The prosecutor will be arguing that the girl was impaired and could not give her consent.

The judge presiding over the case and the one deciding the fates of the two defendants is Judge Thomas Lipps.  On the first day of the trial, two girls (and friends of the victim) testified that the victim was drunk and having trouble walking on the night she was allegedly raped. One witness says that the girls filled cups with Stoli Vanilla vodka to drink at the party and that they victim “went downhill fast.” The next morning, the victim was confused, crying that she could not remember anything. When the witness was asked about the photograph of the alleged victim being carried by two males, the witness testified that the girl was conscious while this was happening, and that one of the boys stepped on her hair. One photograph that was not released to the public shows the victim asleep with what appears to be semen on her stomach. Earlier, Richmond stated on ABC News 20/20 that “I didn’t rape anybody. I didn’t witness a rape going on. And if I would have thought that somebody was being raped or anything like that, I would have stopped it.” Yet, there are pictures and Twitter statuses of several members of the football team posing with the victim and joking about her being raped.

Even though Richmond and Mays are accused of rape and are almost adults, they are only being tried as juveniles. They are currently on house arrest, attending school at a juvenile-detention facility. There are rumors that the town officials and sheriff department has been covering up the crime, protecting the football players.Meanwhile, the victim has been called “slut” by her peers and wakes up crying in the middle of the night from horrible nightmares.  If the defendants are found guilty, they will be held in juvenile jail until they are 21-years-old and will be required to register as sex offenders.

Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges

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Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges

Rape: the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

It is the year 2012 and yet there are people who still believe rape is imaginary; to them, a rape victim is just a girl who changed her mind after consenting to have sex. To them, drugging and gang raping a sixteen year old girl is not a crime. To them, taking pictures of a rape victim’s unconscious body and posting it online is not immoral. To them, they can do no wrong because they play on the high school football team; after all  the football team has won three state titles in Ohio since 2006. To them the whole town of Steubenville has their backs and will protect them, even when the rape victim is possibly dead, deader than “Oj’s wife” and “Caylee Anthony.”

On August 11, 2012, the 16 year-old rape victim was attending a Big Red High School volleyball game when her friend asked her to attend a party with her and her boyfriend’s friends. The victim agreed and was picked up by Mark Cole, Ma’lik Richmond, and Trent Mays. Getting into the car was the last thing the victim remembers – she does not remember how one of the boys slipped a date-rape drug into her drink. She only remembers her parents waking up her up on her front lawn the next morning. She does not remember being raped by multiple boys; she only realized it happened when she saw the Twitter statues and pictures of her unconscious body being carried around town online.

She does not remember attending Party #1, which was hosted by Football Assistant Coach Rick Cameletti and was where Michael Nodianos, Charlie Keenan, Cody Saltsman, and Anthony Craig were already drinking. She does not remember how after attending Party #2 (hosted by Football Assistant Coach Belederine) she was raped and sodomized by Mays and Richmond in the backseat of the car while Cole filmed it. She does not remember how at Party #3 at Cole’s house, she was carried to the basement and raped by multiple boys. She does not remember lying in the front lawn of a house while a boy urinated on her. She does not remember when the group grew tired of her and dropped her body on her front lawn.

Two days after waking up from this nightmare, she and her parents reported the crime to the police. On August 27, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were charged as adults with raping and kidnapping, though the charges were reduced to juvenile court and kidnapping was dropped. The story was supposed to be over; the pictures were deleted and out of all of the boys that knew about the rape and even possibly raped her, only two of them were going to be charged… and though rape is a “big boy” crime, they were going to be charged as children. But then former Steubenville native and current blogger Alexandira Goddard began blogging about how the town was covering up a huge crime. She had taken pictures of all of the statues and pictures the Rape Crew had posted, proving that the fact that only two members were charged meant something was wrong. For blogging about the cover-up she received a law suit from one of the member’s families.

 

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On December 23, 2012, a group of members from Anonymous called Knight Sec took up the case. Due to their hacking ability, they were able to uncover all of the statues, pictures, and videos that were deleted by the Rape Crew. It was they who learned that fellow high school students called several football players the Rape Crew because they were rumored to have raped several times before. Knight Sec posted a video stating that if the Rape Crew did not apologize to the victim, it would release evidence of them participating in that horrible crime. After the due date of January 1, 2013 passed, Knight Sec posted a 12 minute video of the Rape Crew describing the victim being raped, causing the world to focus on the small Ohio town. Another group known as LocalLeaks created a webpage on why the town was covering the football players, one reason being the football team generated revenue for the town and is the focus of illegal gambling at local sport bars. Now Steubenville police department is under fire for mishandling the case. They apparently failed to take a toxicology test on the victim because they told her the drug would be out of her system by now, though there are types of date rape drugs that can stay in the body for at least 72 hours and possibly more. They are accused of failing to arrest more of the Rape Crew members, even though there is proof that they all witnessed the rape and failed to report it to police, thus covering up a crime. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, who has refused to take over the case because it is not in his jurisdiction, states “It’s a disgusting video. It’s stupidity. But you can’t arrest somebody for being stupid.” LocalLeaks has confirmed that Sheriff Abdalla and Big Red High School Football Coach Reno Saccoccia have had breakfast together several times, just one example of conflict of interest. LocalLeaks also claims that Coach Saccoccia told the players to delete everything off their phones, an example of a great role model for the children.

Mays and Richmond are the only ones being charged for rape though evidence recovered by Knight Sec suggest otherwise. In the 12 minute video that was posted on YouTube, Michael Nodianos (former Big Red baseball player) describes how the victim was raped and urinated on. When one member asks why the girl isn’t waking up, it is he who suggests that she is probably dead, “You know she’s dead because someone peed on her.” He says if he had a daughter that was raped, he hoped she would be dead too. The one recording this horrible conversation was Evan Westlake at Jake Howarth’s house. The fact that several boys are joking about how the victim, who is in another room because one boy goes to check on her, may be dead and are not calling 911 shows that these monsters are covering up a crime and are all guilty of helping their friends get away with rape. The other boys in the video are Shawn McGee, Niko Murray, and Anthony Craig; Murray and McGee leave after being disturbed by Nodianos’ comments. Though they may not have participated in the

Provided by Knight Sec

Provided by Knight Sec

rape or have joked about it, they need to come forward and tell law enforcement what really happened, even if it means sending their friends to jail. Boys joking about how their daughters deserve to die after being raped do not need to be on the streets. Nodianos, wearing an Ohio State shirt in the video, has since dropped out of the college due to the negative publicity he is receiving. Another member of the Rape Crew is Charlie Keenan, the son of County Prosecuting Attorney Jane Halin, and it was his house where the victim was also dragged to. The final member of Rape Crew who is the one to blame for this horrible night is Cody Saltsman. He was originally charged but chargers were dropped after a private meeting between Saltsman’s father, the Sheriff, and a wealthy Steubenville resident. The reason Saltsman is the one to blame for the night is because the victim was his ex-girlfriend. One month before this all happened, he wrote to his friends “Nobody breaks up with Cody Saltsman, Ill ruin that bitch.” A few weeks after the break-up, it was Cody’s friend Trent Mays who started texting her, pretending to like her. It was Cody’s friend Trent Mays who got his girlfriend to convince the victim to hang out with all of them on August 11. It was Cody who took a picture of two boys carrying the unconscious victim around and wrote “I have no sympathy for whores.” He knew what he was doing was wrong, yet he didn’t care. To him and his friends, because the girl broke up with him she deserved to be drugged, to be gang rapped, to be masturbated on, and to be left out on her lawn for dead.

These monsters ruined an innocent girl’s life and because they play for the beloved football team in Ohio they will not be charged for rape or for covering up a crime. Only the two who were recorded raping the victim will be charged, but they will only be charged as juveniles. Some people even believe that these Monsters are the Victims because the girl was asking for it by her outfit or the fact that she was at a party with boys. In a society that continues to tell the Story of Adam and Eve, it is not surprising that people still do not believe that rape exists. After all, it was Eve who used her beauty to seduce innocent Adam into biting the apple. This silly story is just enough reason for some to believe that a girl deserved to be raped because a boy cannot control his mind or body when he sees her beauty. As Rape Crew member Michael Nodianos tweeted “Some people deserve to be peed on.” To Monsters, just for being a girl is enough reason.

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Provided by LocalLeaks

Check out these sources because they have more reasons why these monsters are being protected:

LocalLeaks

StopBigRed

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Video Describing Rape