Coach Pleads No Contest To Child Endangering

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) - A coach pleaded no contest to two counts of child endangering, angering parents of the 24 Cleveland boys he was accused of beating at a summer football camp.

"Justice was not done for these kids," said Linda Griffin, mother of 10-year-old Arvon, who returned from camp with welts on his thighs and buttocks.

Coach Earley Y. Robinson, 30, of Elyria, had been accused of whipping the 8- to 10-year-old boys with a belt while they stood naked in a shower during their four-day stay at Camp Mueller in August.

He faced eight counts of misdemeanor assault, but prosecutors dropped six of those charges. Robinson then pleaded no contest to two reduced charges of misdemeanor child endangering.

Prosecutors dropped charges against two other coaches.

Visiting Judge William B. Pike found Robinson guilty and sentenced him to 30 days' house arrest, fined him $500 and barred him from involvement in youth sports for eight years.

Myron Watson, Robinson's attorney, said Robinson pleaded no contest to avoid a lengthy trial.

Parents of the Glenville A's players, who have a civil lawsuit pending against the coaches, say the boys had wanted to testify against them.

Some of the parents have said the beatings began when coaches sought to find out who had broken a car window and several cabin windows at the camp.

Diahn Hayes, one of the Glenville mothers, said the Cuyahoga Falls prosecutors saw the crime "as black kids and black culture, and it made no difference."

Prosecutor Stacy Lynn did not return telephone calls Thursday from The Plain Dealer.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)