According to WBAL, a former baseball coach of the Arbutus Recreational League in Arbutus, MD, faces accusations of crimes including rape and sexual abuse of a minor.
33-year-old Melvin Joseph Tucker III faces six charges from two accusers. There are potentially more victims who are encouraged to come forward. According to Law & Crime, the first victim was his minor cousin, and the assault began as far back as 15 years ago. Tucker was 19 when he began to assault his 12-year-old female cousin sexually. Law & Crime further states that Tucker is accused of having a history of sexually assaulting family members, but due to him being a juvenile at the time, he can no longer be charged with those sexual assault cases.
As the detectives were investigating the claims made by the cousin, another victim came forward. This victim was a member of the Arbutus Recreational League baseball team that Tucker, Coach Joe, coached. During a sleepover at Tucker's home, the incident took place while the male victim was eight years old.
Tucker is being charged with a second-degree sex offense, a third-degree sex offense, attempted second-degree rape, second-degree rape, and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Still, officials are certain there are more victims. Given Tucker's history surrounded by children and trusted by parents, the Baltimore County police encourage victims to contact them.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, works with sexual assault victims and their families in civil lawsuits. Below, we asked Aaron to provide insight into the victims' legal rights when sexually assaulted by a youth sports coach.
"Youth sports programs are valuable to their communities; they provide children with fun activities that foster social interaction, teamwork and increases confidence in children. However, it is crucial the children in these programs must be kept safe. Too often, sexual predators become part of these organizations and are entrusted with children."
"Most youth sports coaches are honorable and trustworthy members of their communities, but there have also been cases of coaches sexually abusing players. When this happens, the perpetrator should be held liable for the trauma caused to the children. Additionally, it is important to investigate the organization for possible negligence."
"Some instances of sexual abuse in youth sports could have been preventable if not for negligence. For example, a youth sports program might be considered negligent if others within the organization ignored previous allegations of sexual misconduct involving the coach who was arrested. Another example would include the failure to run proper background checks on the coaches during the hiring process. In negligence cases, youth sports sex abuse victims and their parents may have a case for a lawsuit and should seek the counsel of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer."