A Richmond-area basketball coach pled guilty to fondling one of his players Tuesday morning in Richmond Circuit Court. Former coach Antwain Fletcher took a plea deal that let him get out of jail, after nearly three months. The deal gave Fletcher credit for jail time he already served.
This is the second time that Fletcher has been incarcerated for groping young athletes. He was arrested two years ago in North Carolina, under similar circumstances. Parents of players affiliated with Fletcher are outraged that he was able to find a way to coach again.
The mother of Fletcher's latest victim is upset with the system. She's asked that her identity be concealed, so her son is protected. She says the man who scarred her son is just getting a slap on the wrist. Fletcher was ordered by the judge to undergo counseling, register as a sex offender, and not have any contact with the victim. He was also placed on indefinite probation.
Prosecutors say Fletcher shared a bed with one of his players at the Richmond Inn & Suites, back in June. The victim's mother says her son awoke to Fletcher fondling his genitals.
"It's definitely been trauma for him. He's having trust issues with primarily men. It's embarrassing and very troubling for him," said the mother of the 15-year-old boy.
In 2010, Fletcher attended a basketball training camp in North Carolina with another player. He was found guilty of inappropriately touching that 17-year-old boy.
After getting out of jail, Fletcher moved back to Virginia and started his own boys basketball team. Fletcher named his team, "Team Redemption." One thing he did not do, was register as a sex offender.
"I do feel that being registered as a sex offender, there are some loopholes," said the mother.
Fletcher's guilty judgment in North Carolina had some gray legal areas, specific to the state. This makes it unclear whether Fletcher was supposed to register as a sex offender when he moved back to Virginia.
"I've done a lot of reading and researching, and it appears that a lot of the sex offenders will move to another state and do the same thing again, and they may not always register," continued the victim's mother.
Virginia State Police say it's impossible to track who enters the state. They say if a sex offender moves in, it's likely up to that person to register, if they're supposed to.
It's unknown how many offenders haven't come forward. It's also unknown whether Antwain Fletcher could one day move somewhere else, and repeat the same abuse.
"With his background and his m.o., he may stop for a while. But I don't think he's done. I do feel that he will try this again," theorized the victim's mother.
At this point, Antwain Fletcher's probation officer will make sure that he registers as a sex offender. However, once that probation is over, he will no longer be supervised.
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