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Youth Tells Jury About Sex Acts With Coach

Court: He says former Compton instructor Russell Otis pressured him repeatedly. The defendant denies the charges.


A teenager tearfully told a Superior Court jury Tuesday that former Compton basketball coach Russell Otis groped him, performed oral sex on him and sodomized him.

The boy said Otis, who was his coach at Dominguez High School, repeatedly asked to perform oral sex on the teenager while they were at the coach's Carson home last fall.

"I kept saying no. Then I finally said yeah," said the 17-year-old boy, who was identified in court as John Doe because he is a minor. He said the pressure from Otis "was getting on my nerves."

The boy, who no longer attends Dominguez High, said Otis began performing oral sex on him for a short time before he asked his coach to stop.

The teenager testified that he stood up from the sofa where he and Otis were sitting and began to pull up his pants.

"First, before he got up, he said 'Turn over,' " the youth said, his voice quivering and tears rolling down his face. "I just looked at him crazy. Then he turned me around."

That is when Otis sodomized him, the boy testified.

The youth said he was somehow able to free himself from the much larger man's grasp and run outside. The coach then drove him home.

Otis, who denies any wrongdoing, is charged with one count each of molestation or annoying a child under 18, oral copulation with a child under 18, sodomy with a child under 18 and forcible sodomy. If convicted he faces up to nine years and eight months in prison.

Otis was fired as coach and physical education instructor in February. The termination was because of his failure over 14 years of teaching to obtain permanent credentials.

Under questioning by Deputy Dist. Atty. Diana Martinez, the teenager Tuesday reiterated much of the testimony he gave at a preliminary hearing in December.

He said the coach gave him money, allowed him use of a car and gave him much attention.

Defense attorney Leonard Levine contends that the story was fabricated. The boy's family wants money and the boy wanted to play for another high school because he was going to lose his position as starting shooting guard on the team, Levine said.

Levine asked the boy why he took several months to tell anyone about the alleged molestation.

The boy said for a while he was too embarrassed. He said he decided to talk because he wanted to protect others from a similar experience.

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