Thursday, January 10, 2008

Former coach arraigned on charges of molesting boys

YAKIMA -- A popular Yakima-area youth basketball coach who previously was charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy was arraigned Tuesday on charges of molesting two other boys who played on his team.

Randy Sayler, 46, was arraigned on one count of first-degree child molestation involving a 13-year-old boy who was 10 when he said he was fondled, according to a Yakima County Sheriff's Office affidavit. In addition, Sayler was charged with one count of second-degree child molestation, two counts of second-degree rape, and one count of voyeurism involving another boy, now 15, who said Sayler molested him from the time he was 12.

Sayler, a married father of two sons, already is in Yakima County Jail awaiting trial on two counts of second-degree child rape involving a 13-year-old boy. That boy said he was molested twice at Sayler's home and again during road trips to Reno, Nev., and Spokane last September.

Although the other two boys were interviewed by the sheriff's office shortly after the first boy was interviewed, the Yakima County Prosecutor's Office said it has taken this long to gather enough evidence to charge Sayler in the new cases.

"The sheriff's department has provided additional information which has made these charges possible," said Deputy Prosecutor Patti Powers. Asked if there were more victims anticipated, Powers replied, "This is the information that we've got right now."

Parents report that Sayler independently started several basketball teams that were registered to play in Amateur Athletic Union tournaments. He also coached soccer, led a traveling baseball team, and coached the 2006-2007 ninth-grade football team for West Valley Junior High. He had begun to volunteer coach West Valley's ninth-grade football team again before being arrested in September.

Sayler reportedly went on the road with the players, often to attend tournaments and training camps, especially for basketball. Both school and youth groups note that background checks on Sayler failed to detect any problems.

According to the affidavits filed in the two latest cases, the now-13-year-old boy said he was sleeping overnight at Sayler's house in the 700 block of 83rd Avenue when he woke up to find Sayler sitting next to him and rubbing his genitals. The boy said he screamed and that Sayler covered his mouth and told him, "Don't say anything or I'll do it again."

In the case of the boy who's now 15, he said the first time Sayler made sexual advances toward him was when he was 12, while he was staying overnight at his coach's house. The boy said the first time he woke up and found that his blanket and shorts had been pulled down and that Sayler was taking a picture of him, according to the affidavit.

The next morning, Sayler allegedly touched the boy through his clothes while the boy was asleep. A few days later at Sayler's home, Sayler allegedly touched the boy with his mouth.

Another incident allegedly took place last year during a basketball tournament in Leavenworth, Wash., while the boy was sleeping in the same hotel room with his father, Sayler, and Sayler's two sons. The boy said he was sleeping in the same bed as his father when he woke up and found Sayler next to his bed touching him under the blanket.

In other alleged incidents, the boy told investigators that Sayler molested him while he was sleeping in a dorm room during a basketball camp at Gonzaga University in Spokane last year. Sayler also was charged with manually sodomizing the boy, according to the affidavit.

Sayler is being held in lieu of $750,000 per each alleged victim, for a total amount of more than $2.2 million. His wife has filed for divorce since he was charged in September

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