Soccer coach recants in assault case
A Wahiawa soccer coach accused of sexually assaulting several boys is asking that the court throw out his statement to police.
Frederick Rames, 66, testified yesterday in Circuit Court that he told two police detectives that his lawyer had advised him not to give a statement and that he did not want to.
But he agreed to answer their questions after one of the detectives said he would be considered guilty if he did not talk, he said.
"I didn't want to be guilty," said Rames. He said they also told him he could be allowed to go home if he cooperated.
A 15-count indictment returned in October charges Rames with nine counts of third-degree sexual assault, three counts of tampering with a witness and two counts of first-degree sexual assault involving oral sex.
The tampering counts stem from allegations that Rames confronted three of the alleged victims after charges were filed on Sept. 23 and told them to deny any fondling ever happened.
The alleged victims include six boys, ages 7 to 12, including one of his foster children. Rames, who is retired, is a foster parent and also substitute-teaches for grades one to five.
The prosecution maintained that Rames clearly waived his rights and provided police with a taped statement.
By his own words and his signed consent, said Deputy Prosecutor Douglas Chin, Rames showed he was advised of his right to have his attorney present and waived it.
Defense attorney William Harrison argued that the detectives should have clarified statements Rames made during the interview about his willingness to continue -- and ceased the interrogation immediately.
In the taped statement, Rames said he allowed boys to sleep over at his Wahiawa home and admitted to teaching at least one boy to masturbate.
"My main point was getting them started so they'd do it themselves and not go out and get in trouble, that was all," Rames said, according to transcripts of his taped interview.
Chin argued that the detectives did ask follow-up questions and that all substantive questions stopped once it was clear to them that Rames was unsure about providing further information.
Detectives Blaine Lavarias and John Asing both testified yesterday that they did not question Rames about the case until he gave verbal and written consent.
Rames was arrested Sept. 21 after one of the boys who had slept over at his Wahiawa home was diagnosed with symptoms consistent with genital herpes. Yesterday, Rames denied having herpes.
Rames testified that he had not slept at all between his arrest and the interview and was "highly stressed" and groggy.
Circuit Judge Michael Wilson will rule next week on whether Rames' statement will be admitted at trial, set for Sept. 10.