A youth league baseball coach — who had been previously charged but never convicted of molesting children under his supervision — has been arrested again.
In the latest case, coach David Solomon, 47, described as a “longtime” coach with Cooper City’s Optimist Club, was allowed to have sleepovers with a young ballplayer despite the multiple previous arrests involving molestation on his record. The prior arrests did not result in convictions.
The league says on its website it does background checks on coaches and other volunteers, and bars those guilty of crimes — including all sex offenses, “regardless of the amount of time since offense.”
But it adds: “This recommendation does not apply if criminal charges resulted in acquittal, nolle prossed or dismissal.”
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In a prepared statement, the club said: “The accused individual passed comprehensive background checks, which were conducted by the Optimist Club’s background check vendors.
Dwight Vander Linde, president of the Cooper City Optimist Club, refused to answer questions.
Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives charged Solomon with two counts of sexual assault on a victim under 12. They said Solomon’s first alleged encounter with the child was in April, but that he is believed to have assaulted the ballplayer several times.
The sheriff’s office said Solomon used “the guise of playing a game” to abuse the child under his direct supervision.
“On multiple occasions, Solomon put his hands on the victim’s private parts when he was alone with the child, driving the victim home, or while at Solomon’s home for a sleepover,” BSO said in a statement.
The sheriff’s office said a second victim has come forward and additional charges are expected. Detectives are concerned there are more victims.
Twice before, Solomon had been arrested by police in Miami-Dade and charged in connection with alleged molestations. Both charges were dropped.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that in May 2000 he was charged by Miami-Dade police with lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 16. And in November of the same year, he was charged with fondling a child.
The family of one of those boys later sued Solomon; Miami Shores, where Solomon was a recreational league coach; and the Archdiocese of Miami, which employed Solomon. The suit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, asked for at least $15,000 in damages. The lawsuit claimed that the archdiocese and Miami Shores were negligent.
That case was dismissed.
Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ian Kuechler at 954-321-4246 or report information to Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.