It's been a crappy spring for news about youth sports coaches. A few weeks back, soccer coach and popular party DJ Joel White was charged in federal court for allegedly taking nude photos of children. On Tuesday, a grandfather in Clay County Googled his son's basketball coach, Darin Mason, and found that he was a sex offender barred from coaching youth sports.
According to various reports, Mason pleaded guilty in 2001 second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy after he had sex with a 15-year-old player on the basketball team at Oak Park High School. He was coaching the team at the time.
Perhaps most disturbing about the discovery of Mason again coaching children is that, according to The Star, he actually founded the basketball program in 2004 after completing his probation. The paper says he identified himself as a consultant with the teams rather than a coach in 2011. A Missouri law bans registered sex offenders from coaching kids younger than 17.
FOX 4 adds another startling detail: Some people involved with the KC Pumas Basketball League supposedly knew about Mason's past. A coach at a league practice told the station that what happened in Mason's past didn't matter. Bill Shull, the grandpa who alerted police to Mason's past and presence in the league, disagreed with that take. "My experience has been, as a criminal defense lawyer, that there are many, many cases of recidivism of sex offenders," he told the station.
Mason was charged with a felony for being a sex offender and a coach. His next court appearance is June 13.