Meridian, Miss. The prosecution started laying out its case Tuesday against a former coach who's accused of sexual misconduct. Rick Roberson, who coached for a long time at Clarkdale, faces seven counts of sexual misconduct that involved three victims.
The trial testimony started with the investigator for the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, David Rosenbaum, taking the stand. He testified that Roberson told investigators in September 2012 that he regretted any of his actions that could have been 'misinterpreted'. Rosenbaum also testified that on Sept. 25, 2012, Roberson gave investigators a six-page handwritten statement.
Circuit Judge Lester Williamson read the statement during the proceedings. In that statement Roberson said that he 'yielded to temptation'. He went on to explain that this referred to two of the four accusers. However, he did not elaborate about specifically what happened, but did say that he takes responsibility for his actions because he was the adult.
In that statement Roberson also wrote that claims made by the other two accusers were completely false. He went on to apologize for any of his actions that might have been taken in the wrong context.
In his statement to investigators almost two years ago, Roberson wrote, "I made many mistakes. I am not evil or a predator of young girls. I ask for understanding and mercy."
Two of Roberson's former players, who are accusing him of wrongdoing, also testified. One of them broke down crying on the witness stand twice. She claimed that Roberson made explicit sexual advances towards her from 2010 to 2012. Both females told the court that Roberson offered them money. The first said that he attempted to kiss her; the second stated that, against her will, he did kiss her.
A former Clarkdale student testified that, starting around 1983 and 1984, from the time that she was 15 to 17-years-old, she willfully gave in to advances made by Roberson. At the time she says that he was a young, new teacher at the school. Testimony in the case is expected to continue Wednesday morning.