A judge thinks a high school girl bit another high school girl in a soccer game. When you read Jonathan Coleman’s Crossing the Line: How One Incident in a Girls’ Soccer Match Rippled Across Small-Town America, you’ll doubt such a thing ever happened.
You’ll also doubt school administrators and the people who hire them.
You’ll also doubt whether small towns have sufficient checks and balances to keep one person from being able to run roughshod over others to settle a selfish vendetta.
It’s so stark in its portrayal of evil that you have to wonder if there’s another side to the story. At all.
What does Greg Domecq have to say in response to the accusations that he went several stages beyond the “bad sports parent” stereotype (along with other misdeeds) and turned a high school soccer rivalry into a series of games in which the kids were playing for some sort of vindication of his family’s athletic superiority? And what does he say in response to the idea that he went even farther, concocting a tale of a rival player biting his daughter and intimidating her boyfriend into lying to cover it up?
And what does Judge Rick Moore have to say after rendering a guilty verdict even though no witnesses saw it happen and 10 witnesses, including game officials, testified that they noticed nothing amiss during the game? (This part of the story is well-substantiated beyond the confines of Coleman’s book, and one story goes on to add that the judge misapplied the law by finding her guilty even though he thinks the alleged bite may have accidental.)
The case was due to be appealed, but Domecq asked the prosecutor not to continue. He says harassment and misbehavior between the two schools has ceased, and it’s time to forgive. The defense lawyer has a different take, pointing out that she had witnesses from Domecq’s school ready to testify in the appeal. Domecq’s seemingly magnanimous gesture may be just a way to maintain power in this incident, which forced the girl he accused to change colleges and hide out from the community for months, without allowing her to win her day in court. (Also covered in the news.)
Surely there’s another side to this story. Right? Or has Coleman found a stunning miscarriage of justice that the media should trumpet to the heavens so that Domecq can finally be called to account for the damage he inflicted on others?
Domecq, Moore and anyone else with an interest in this case are welcome to post here to try to restore my faith that Albemarle County has some underpinnings of decency.