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8 ❖ Mount Vernon Gazette ❖ January 28 - February 3, 2010
News Police Seek More Victims
to participate in youth league activities in a supervisory role as a coach. In addition, Bob Burton, the president of FHYAA, described a current effort being considered by the As- sociation to amend the Association By-laws to restrict or revoke the privilege of coaching if information is brought to the Association’s at- tention that an individual’s conduct is inimical to the best in- terests of the children who participate in youth league sports. The thinking is that even with a criminal background check someone could still slip through and be al- lowed to participate if there was no prior record of misconduct. The by-laws change would enable the Associa- tion to end a person’s participation as a coach or other supervisory capacity for specific rea- sons due to present day behavior even with a From Page 1 For the Record information about John Hamilton.” Statement of the FHYAA regarding the arrest of John Hamilton: In Ma , 2009 Hamilton, a former Bellevue neighbor- hood resident, was arrested. A Grand Jury indicted him, and a judge set bond, which was then revoked when Hamilton contacted one of the alleged victims. He was let out on bond a second time but the court failed to obtain his passport; Hamilton fled the U.S. He was supposed to have ap- peared in court to enter a guilty plea Oct. 7, 2009, but instead left the country in September 2009. Reports indicate he traveled to Frankfurt and then Mercerberg, Germany. “It is very painful for anyone who cares about children to hear of the allegations made against Mr. Hamilton. The fact that he was previously a coach in our program makes that pain even greater. We are committed to doing everything we can to assist the authorities in this case. Like all members of our community, we are sad- dened by the harm that has been reported to have come to the young victim.” … “We have asked anyone in our program with further information that might assist the police to please come forward.” Excerpt of the FHYAA Criminal Background Check Policy initiated in 2008: “Those persons who are determined by these checks to have adverse information (i.e., a “red-light”) are prohibited from participating as coaches, commissioners, or administrators in any FHYAA program.” The full text of the FHYAA statement about John Hamilton and Part B of the Association’s policy requiring criminal background checks is available on the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association Web site: www.fhyaa.org The Fort Hunt Youth Ath- letic Association members and others within the com- munity active in youth ath- letics have struggled with the revelations about Hamilton’s misconduct which can be traced back to 1997 or earlier when he was a coach and umpire with the FHYAA. Initiall , the charges were based on one victim coming forward in early 2009 to ac- cuse Hamilton of sexual misconduct when the vic- tim was 12 years old in 1997. Since then, according to Hinson, nine additional victims have come for- ward. Hamilton served for approximately 20 years in a youth league coaching or umpire capacity in Northern Virginia, and associated with hundreds of children as a result. “I believe there are more victims out there who have yet to come forward.” — Detective Jeremy Hinson
One parent currently involved in the youth league is exploring the possibility of convening a meeting of concerned parents in the Fort Hunt community to discuss the issue openly and candidly. The pur- pose of the meeting would be to educate parents on the subject, to encourage anyone who has knowl- edge of past misconduct by Hamilton or anyone else involving their or other children to come forward to advise the police, and to share their questions and concerns with others.
The Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association has, as of 2008, required all volunteer coaches to agree to a criminal background check before they are approved
clean background check.
America’s Most Wanted television program is scheduled to review the Hamilton case as a special feature on an upcoming television seg- ment on Feb. 27. They have issued an appeal encouraging anyone with information about Hamilton to come forward.
Anyone who has knowledge of Hamilton and his whereabouts is encouraged to contact Hinson at 703-246-7893, or the Fairfax county police department at: www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org