(STMW) — A Little League coach who oversees a team in Brighton Park is accused of molesting two cousins who played on his team more than a decade ago, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Carmelo Ramirez, 46, is facing charges of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal abuse for the alleged incidents that Cook County prosecutors said took place between December 2005 and December 2007.
Ramirez developed a relationship with the boys and their family while coaching them on the Little League team at Kelly Park in Brighton Park, Assistant State’s Attorney Jullian Brevard said at a bond hearing Thursday.
Authorities were notified about the incident in February, after one victim learned his mother had signed two younger family members to the team Ramirez was coaching, Brevard said.
Around the same time, the other victim said he was molested too, Brevard said.
Ramirez, of 4100 block of South Maplewood, was able to gain the boys’ trust, as he would invite them and other Little Leaguers to his home for sleepovers and overnight trips to Six Flags Great America, authorities said.
One of the victims, who was 12 when the abuse started, recalled Ramirez taking off his pants and then sexually assaulting him while he slept with Ramirez in his bed, Brevard said. No one else was at Ramirez’s home.
The boy was “shocked and angry” about what was going on but felt he could not do anything because he was so “young and small,” Brevard said.
Ramirez eventually went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and the boy put his clothes back on, Brevard said. When the boy asked the coach what had happened, Ramirez allegedly ignored him and did not answer.
Another time, the boy was woken up by Ramirez touching his groin, prosecutors said. He then pretended to sleep as the attack continued.
When the boy was 13, he was at Ramirez’s house sleeping on a couch when he felt Ramirez’s hand inside his shorts, Brevard said. The boy moved and Ramirez stopped. But then he saw Ramirez reaching toward him, so he made a loud nose and hit a window, startling Ramirez, Brevard said.
The other boy, who was between the ages of 10 and 12 when he was attacked, felt Ramirez’s hand inside his pants even though he went to bed in Ramirez’s house with jeans and a tight belt, Brevard said.
Ramirez, who was arrested on Tuesday, said although the boys would sleep in his bed at sleepovers, he didn’t remember touching them. However, when asked if he ever touched the kids, he said, he didn’t remember and if he did, it was a lack of judgment, Brevard said.
Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Ramirez held on a $100,000 bond.
Officials with Brighton Kelly Park Little League were unavailable for comment.
Ramirez has been a Little League coach for over 12 years, prosecutors said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire copy; Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)