Basketball association official 'blindsided' by accused child molester at league draft
GONZALES - Days after an accused child molester was seen at the Ascension Youth Basketball Association's annual draft, the league's president says he was blindsided by the unexpected appearance.
Carl Siener, who has been with AYBA for decades, says he was unaware Jermaine Miles would be attending Saturday's draft and was never told by Miles he was coming.
Miles was charged with five counts of child molestation in 2019 and initially given a $1 million bond.
He was later released on a $50,000 bond with the additional condition that he must stay away from coaching, District Attorney Ricky Babin said..
"There [were] some stipulations in the bond that he not coach or mentor, or deal with coaching basketball or any other sport with minors," Babin told WBRZ earlier this week. "I think that's one of the issues here."
At the parish's regularl- scheduled Recreation Committee meeting Wednesday, council members quizzed Siener about Saturday's events.
"AYBA is representing the parish in this, and we have somebody with these kinds of charges that was never told not to come around until he did," council member Aaron Lawler said. "That's not acceptable."
Siener said an illness kept him from Saturday's draft.
"If I had been there, and I saw Jermaine there, the first thing I would've asked him was, 'Jermaine, is your case over, because I have not talked to you in two years,'" Siener said Wednesday. "If he would have said 'no,' I would've asked him to go home."
Siener says he has since spoken to Miles, telling him he put the league in a bad spot. He says Miles told him he had no conditions on his bond. Nevertheless, Siener made sure this wouldn't happen again.
"I told him he's not to show up at any of the gyms for practice, for games, or be involved at all with AYBA until this is resolved," Siener told council members.
As some questioned if Miles was allowed to be at the event, Babin says his office believes the bond conditions to stay away from coaching and mentoring kids were imposed in open court and he is seeking the transcripts to verify that.
During Wednesday's discussion, some pointed fingers about who should have been responsible for notifying and making sure Miles did not show up to any AYBA event.
The committee ultimately agreed to work with the league to create appropriate policies and procedures, which may include background checks for volunteers, to prevent similar problems.
"Can we help AYBA get up to snuff?" Councilman Dal Waguespack asked. "We have something to where they're providing basketball for Ascension Parish, they're doing it. So, can we help them put those checks in place? Is that something the recreation department's willing to do -- help them get organized?"