Chesterfield Softball Coach Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor

June 2nd, 2009 by admin

A girls softball coach for the Crenshaw Athletic Association has been charged with multiple counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly providing alcohol to three of his players and two other teenage girls.

William Tanis, 49, of the 4000 block of Tracker Drive in Chesterfield County, was charged last week with five misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was released on bond pending his initial appearance today in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Chesterfield police Capt. Terry Patterson said Tanis is accused of supplying the alcohol to the girls during a cookout at his home on May 24.

Debbie Payne, mother of one of the alleged victims, said her daughter and four other girls — two of whom were not team members — were provided Smirnoff Ice malt beverage.

The three girls who played on the team, including Tanis’ daughter, have been barred from participating as a result of the allegations, Payne added. The team has three games left in their season.

“They won’t let our girls play on the team,” said Payne, whose former husband reported the incident to authorities. “That’s just like telling the kids that they better not tell nothing, because they’re the ones that are going to get punished. I mean, they’re the victims.”

Crenshaw Athletic Association president Marjorie Barker said Tanis has a valid coach’s card but resigned pending the outcome of the case. If convicted, Tanis will be barred from coaching again, per Chesterfield’s criminal-background-check requirements, she added.

Barker said Crenshaw operates under rules set by the Chesterfield Youth Softball Association, and CYSA’s policy is to suspend all people involved in an incident so there is no further disruption to the team. Barker said that was explained to Payne.

A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 4. — Mark Bowes

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