Referee inappropriately touched teen basketball player, police say
Updated On: Jan 23 2014 11:57:58 PM EST
A referee is under investigation for allegedly touching a 14-year-old girl inappropriately during a basketball game at Calvary Christian Academy, according to police.
Police have recommended a misdemeanor battery charge against the 66-year-old man, who Local 6 is not identifying because he had not been arrested.
The state attorney is reviewing the police report to determine whether or not formal charges should be filed.
According to the police charging affidavit, the referee "placed his right hand on the victim's buttocks in a cupping motion and immediately removed his hand."
The victim's mother, who was shooting video of the game from the stands, captured footage of that touching incident, according to investigators.
The referee later told police by phone he "had no physical contact with any of the players during the game," according to the report.
The girl also told her mother the referee rubbed the side of his hand against her chest. The girl's mother did not capture video of that incident, so investigators have asked school officials to provide another video of the game.
The police officer who investigated the incident never interviewed the girl directly, citing the desire "to preserve the three-interview rule on juveniles," according to the report. However, the officer reports overhearing the girl as she described the touching to her mother.
Michael Lambert, the referee's attorney, told Local 6 his client absolutely denies the allegations. The referee has a "pristine history" and wants to clear his name, said Lambert. The attorney said his client continues to work as a school referee while the state attorney reviews the case.
A representative at A-1 Officials Association, which provides referees to Volusia and Flagler county schools, told Local 6 their policy prohibited them from commenting about the matter.