Community expresses mixed opinions on Ringgold youth softball coach arrested for alleged child molestation
A Ringgold man was arrested last week for allegedly molesting a young girl. But the community seems divided on whether they believe the youth softball coach is capable of such acts.
Forty-two-yearold Robert Adams Alexander of Cloud Springs Road was arrested Monday, Oct. 20, on charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation, and aggravated sexual battery, after a woman claimed he had sexual contact with her daughter on multiple occasions. He was released Friday, Oct. 24, on $75,000 bond.
The news of Alexander’s arrest came as a shock to many in the community who know Alexander as a youth softball coach in the East Ridge, Tenn., area.
“He’s a great coach and a good guy,” said Walker County resident Matthew Palmer, who knows Alexander from the softball field. “He doesn’t seem like someone that would do the things he is accused of.”
According to Marvin “Stump” Martin, director of East Ridge Parks and Recreation, Alexander has been a coach for a number of years, but didn’t have anything in his background that would indicate that he was a threat to children.
“Robert Alexander has been coaching girls’ softball for many years and according to my athletics supervisor Shawnna Skiles, he passed his last background check,” Martin said last week. “Robert usually coaches a select team not involved in East Ridge Parks and Recreation. However, he did coach a 6-and-under recreation team at East Ridge last spring. We’ve never had any problems.”
Concerned citizens have also taken to social media to express their opinions. Some are heavily disgusted with the allegations, while others support Alexander by calling the accusations ridiculous. There is also a third group, which is remaining objective until all the facts of the case are revealed.
“Until they have hard evidence, I will withhold my judgment,” Tracey Fleming stated in her post on our Catwalkchatt Facebook page.
The investigation began Friday, Oct. 10, when a woman went to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department claiming her daughter told her that Alexander had molested her.
The girl told her
mother about the abuse on Oct. 6, a few days before she actually reported it.
The mom couldn’t give police the exact dates of the alleged abuse, but did say that her daughter claimed that several incidents had occurred over a considerable period of time, reports show.
Child crimes detectives were notified of the complaint and scheduled a forensic interview with the child at the Children’s Advocacy Center.
After the investigation, state warrants were obtained, and Alexander was arrested about 2:50 p.m. on Oct. 20.