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Teenager Testifies Sex With Coach, 33, Was Consensual

June 14, 2002|MASSIE RITSCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 16-year-old girl testified Thursday that she willingly had sex last year with her basketball coach, and kept the relationship from her parents and school officials to prevent him from going to jail.

The Glendale girl told jurors on the second day of the statutory rape trial in Los Angeles Superior Court that her friendship with Paul Calvin Clark III first became sexual in January 2001. After basketball practice, she said, they had intercourse on his desk at Ribet Academy, the Los Angeles private school where she was a 15-year-old freshman and he was her 33-year-old coach.

Various types of sexual activity continued for more than a month, the girl testified, until the school's volleyball and softball coaches reported suspicions to administrators.

After the panicked couple cooled things off for a while, the sex resumed briefly after school let out in June 2001, the girl said.

Clark has pleaded not guilty.

His attorney has argued that the two female coaches were vindictive toward Clark because he took the job of athletic director away from one of them. The women frightened and coerced the girl into falsely reporting that she and Clark had sex, lawyer Robert M. Bernstein said.

Softball coach, Stephenie Little testified on videotape Thursday (because she was unavailable to appear in person), that she and fellow coach Kate Stoll had secretly videotaped the girl to record her admission of a sexual relationship with Clark.

But Little denied that they manipulated the student to punish their colleague.

The girl told jurors that the coaches did not coerce her. She had denied the relationship because, "I really loved [Clark], and he said he loved me, and I didn't want him to get in trouble," she testified.

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