Fangette’s Little Secret


donttellI think I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, particularly today — I’ll tell you why in a minute — my kid, the lovely Fangette, could work for the CIA. Yes. I know. Most adolescents are secretive, manipulative, and conniving, but mine takes these qualities, particularly the first one, to a whole new level. A whole new level of stupid, as it turns out.

My journey to this conclusion began with a text. A text in which she revealed, IN CAPS, that her field hockey coach’s BF (boyfriend for those of you not in the know) was arrested over the weekend and “THE WEDDING IS OFF!” (Actually she began with “THE WEDDING IS OFF!” and meandered down to the arrest — we will have a conversation when she gets home about burying the lead — among other things!) She tells me to “GOOGLE IT” if I want to know more. Well, of course, I want to know more. But, even I, the “Oh, so, technologically-savvy 21st Century Mom” that I am (NOT!), knows that putting “Joe” into a Google search will probably result in lots of links to coffee (like putting in “John” will yield more search results for toilets than, I would imagine, anyone has the time or the energy for). Hey, give me some credit, at least I know THAT much.

Following several follow-up texts in which I, ultimately, resorted to SHOUTING things like, “WHAT IS HIS LAST NAME?”, “WHAT WAS HE ARRESTED FOR?” “WAS SHE IN ON IT, TOO?”, Fangette finally coughed up the information I needed to get a Google search going that would not result in coffee-related links. Oy! Vey!

My Google search revealed that he was arrested for a sex offense. I felt terrible for the field hockey coach because, well, that’s just awful, isn’t it? The article that I brought up did not give much in the way of detailed information — only what he is accused of doing and where the arrest occurred. So, I text my daughter back, saying “OMG! I feel so bad for [insert field hockey coach’s name HERE]. What a terrible thing for her to have to go through!”

The lovely Fangette texts me back with “WHY? WHY WOULD YOU FEEL BAD FOR HER?” I assume that this is just typical teenager judgemental bullshit. So, I reiterate by saying, “Because that’s a horrible thing to find out about your boyfriend.” Now, here’s where the whole thing takes a turn to the astounding — Fangette texts me back and says, “SHE DIDN’T JUST FIND OUT. SHE KNEW. HE’S A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER!”

This, of course, implies more than just the coach having intimate knowledge of her boyfriend’s sexual and, as it turns out, criminal history. It implies that Fangette KNEW that he was a registered sex offender. At this point I told myself that teenagers are often in possession of the wrong information. So, I did what any normal person in this situation would do. I re-Googled his last name and brought up the rest of the links that the Google search returned.

Oh. My. God. I was astounded. Not only was this guy arrested this weekend for masquerading as a police officer and forcing a 25-year-old girl to have sex with him (he’s 40, by the way), but he spent two years in jail on a similar charge. TWO YEARS IN JAIL.

Once I had both composed myself and found a Klonopin, I texted Fangette back. “OMG. I just read that he served a two-year sentence in PRISON for doing something of a similar nature. Did you know this? Or did you just know that he was a sex offender? Also, how did you know whatever it is you know and when did you know this?”

Her response? “IDK when I found out exactly, sometimes this past season, I guess. [Friend’s name]’s cousin is friends with [coach’s name] and [friend’s name] told me. Please don’t make a big thing out of this, Mom. I’ll feel terrible if [coach’s name] finds out that I knew.”

“Really? Why do you feel bad? Because you told people? I hope you told everyone on the team! Though I suspect your reasons for ‘sharing’ the information were less altruistic than I would hope, but still, sharing it was a good thing. We’ll talk about it later. ”

Which, we will. And at length. At greater length than I suspect she will want to, but discuss it with me she will.

I have been, for the last hour, or so, rehearsing how to frame this conversation. Specifically, I have been trying to figure out a way to keep the word “stupid” out of the conversation altogether. Because she’s not stupid. She really isn’t. She was, after all, smart enough to hide this information from me for quite a long time. She may, in fact, never have revealed anything to me about this guy had his arrest over the weekend not been gossip-worthy.

In the midst of writing this post, I discovered that I was operating under a mistaken assumption. It turns out that Fangette did NOT choose to share the fact that this guy is a registered sex offender with her teammates. Whether or not she knew he had done time, I do not know.

I’m going to try very, very hard to have compassion and to employ tact and grace when I am able to sit down with Fangette this afternoon. My fear is that the word “stupid” may find it’s way into the conversation. I hope not, but I fear that it will. If you have a moment, say a little prayer for me, would you? A prayer that asks whomever it is you believe in to keep me from saying anything stupid. Thanks.

photo credits:
don’t tell

17 thoughts on “Fangette’s Little Secret

  1. Oh Lord! Thanks for sharing though….I always love a good scandal story! You’ll be happy to know….I knew what BF was. I am assuming that you put the explanation in there for me as I have had trouble in the past with these new fangled abbreviations!

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  2. peachyteachy says:

    Wow. I trust that you will handle it with wisdom.

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  3. beverlydiehl says:

    Not to minimize, in any way, the dangers of dating a registered sex offender. But some of them are rapists and some of them are child molesters and some of them… Not so much. Being a drunk college kid and peeing into the bushes when some family is walking by can make you a registered sex offender. So can being a 16 y.o. boy caught having consensual intercourse with his 15 y.o. girlfriend in some states.

    It’s possible that Coach’s BF did tell her he was a registered S.O. and he lied to her about WHY, or that he had done time for it. Or possibly he told the whole truth and he seemed contrite and had had counseling, paid his debt to society, blah blah, woof woof, and she believed him. Sad all around, but at least it gives you an opp to talk to your daughter on the subject.

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    • javaj240 says:

      I totally get that the whole “sex offender” label throws a wide net. Unfortunately, as it turns out, this guy did not, as a young man, have consensual sex with his underage girlfriend. If only.

      I have very little interest in why she made the decision to stay with him — that’s her personal business. It would be nice to know when she knew. I would like to believe that once she found out, she limited his contact with my child and her teammates. I don’t know whether or not I will ever get that answer, but I think my child and her teammates are entitled to one.

      I think this thing will have ramifications for her, not because she exercised poor judgment in her personal life, but BECAUSE she was the coach of a female sports team AND he was, quite often, at practices, team events, etc. The girls trusted her and, by extension, him.

      I believe in giving people second chances. I’m all for it, actually. But I think that she had some responsibility to her team and to their parents to let us make the decision about whether or not this man should have been allowed anywhere near our children.

      We shall see how this whole thing plays out — not positively, I fear.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts!

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      • Ginger Kay says:

        This. If you could look up his crime, so could she. She should never have allowed him near the team. I would expect censure of her. Does the school know that he was “helping” coach?

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        • javaj240 says:

          I expect something will go down.

          I agree that all she had to do was to Google him. It’s not something that EVER occurs to me to do. (Maybe I should start!)

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        • javaj240 says:

          Oops… Hit enter too soon!

          I don’t know what, if anything, the school “knows” about his involvement (official or not).

          This thing has, like an onion, many layers — most of which stink!

          Thanks for your support!

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  4. You have every right (as you already know) to have an informative and intelligent conversation about abuse against women and what how this coach put herself in danger. This is such a difficult conversation to have but so important for us to teach younger women (and ourselves) about the dangers of abuse of all kinds. I wish you luck, my friend. Hang tough and keep the faith. You are absolutely doing the right thing – you are a great parent.

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    • javaj240 says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Cathy. It was quite an interesting afternoon here. Quite an interesting afternoon. And then, of course, Fang got home.

      We did have a very informative, intelligent, and rational conversation about all sorts of things, Fangette and I. (Fang and I — well, that was another story, LOL!) It’s amazing what emerges when topics are approached in a calm way. It’s taken me a lot of years to learn this, LOL, but I like the results!

      As always, thank you for reading and for commenting. I look forward to and always appreciate what you have to say!

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  5. haralee says:

    Yikes! Good Luck!! I think prudent observations can be recognized that convicted felons as sex offenders should not be around girls sports. Loyalties are hard to balance but if the court system has already convicted this guy, everyone on the team should know about him. It is a team with a collective goal. My 2 cents.

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  6. Chloe says:

    Wowza!! That’s terrible. All around.

    Aside from the obvious danger the coach might have put herself in, I don’t know what sort of responsibility a person who coaches children has in matters of their own romantic entanglements, but it seems very unwise of her to engage in any behavior with this man that could cost her her job, or put her charges in harm’s way.

    Likely, knowing women like i do, she either was in deep denial, or chose to believe whatever lies he told her about the incident that led to his imprisonment.

    Hopefully you’ll be able to talk clearly and cogently to your daughter without using the word “stupid”. It is hard not to go there though when our children put themselves in harm’s way without really realizing it. Obviously, she should have come and told you right away so you could watch the situation, but she likely figured you’d “over-react” (which wouldn’t have been an over-reaction, in my book anyway).

    Good luck with the talk. I hope that’s the end of this guy’s involvement in your lives.

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    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, Chloe!

      The thing is, and really this thing has so many, many layers, doesn’t it — this guy “helped” his girlfriend coach this team — unofficially, of course, but still — he was on the field with them at any number of practices and games. Whether there will be fallout for the coach now, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

      The fact that my kid knew and, I would imagine, used this information in her own best interests — I would hope she stayed far away from him — but failed to share this information with her teammates troubles me. Of course I wish she had shared it with me, but I think that at the very least she should have shared it with them. I don’t know.

      It’s going to be an interesting afternoon around here. That much I know. And I haven’t even touched on how I will broach this subject with Fang. Ugh!

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