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Police Investigate Parent for Taping Phone Call : Baseball: Police confirm inquiry after Simi Valley Coach Scyphers files criminal report.

March 09, 1995|JEFF FLETCHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SIMI VALLEY — The Simi Valley Police Dept. confirmed Wednesday that it is investigating the parent of a high school baseball player for unauthorized tape-recording of a phone conversation.

Ray Rainer told The Times last week that he taped conversations with Simi Valley High baseball Coach Mike Scyphers in which the coach allegedly tried to persuade Rainer to send his sons to Simi Valley. Rainer said he did not tell Scyphers the conversation was being recorded.

Sgt. Mike King of the Simi Valley Police Dept. said Scyphers filed the criminal report against Rainer.

Scyphers, who coached the Pioneers' game at West Torrance on Wednesday, had no comment.

Rainer said he was unaware of the investigation and had no comment.

King said if the investigation reveals enough evidence against Rainer, the police will submit the matter to the district attorney's office. King said unauthorized tape-recording can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony, with penalties ranging up to a $2,500 fine, a year in jail or both.

Rainer said last week the conversation in question occurred Sept. 5, 1994, and was more than 30 minutes long. He said Scyphers tried to persuade him to send his twin sons, Mike and Matt, to Simi Valley instead of Royal to play baseball. Rainer also alleges that Scyphers spoke with Mike Rainer the next night and persuaded him to enroll at Simi Valley on the first day of school. Mike Rainer signed an affidavit confirming the allegations.

Mike and Matt Rainer, sophomore pitchers, both played for the Simi Valley sophomore team as junior-high ninth-graders last spring. But both were enrolled to begin their sophomore years at Royal just days before school started, Ray Rainer said.

Mike Rainer did begin the year at Simi Valley, but transferred to Royal in December.

Because of the movement of Mike Rainer, the Simi Valley baseball program has been under investigation for violations of Southern Section undue-influence rules, which are intended to prevent coaches from pressuring athletes into choosing particular schools.

Rainer said he turned the tape and the affidavit over to Royal officials, who passed them on to Southern Section Commissioner Dean Crowley. Crowley has said he heard the tape and passed it on to Simi Valley Principal Kathryn Scroggin, who has been investigating the allegations.

Crowley said through a Southern Section spokesperson Wednesday that he had not received Scroggin's report and would pursue it today.

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