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Spanaway coach pleads not guilty to child molestation

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on July 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm with 11 Comments »
July 31, 2011 7:21 pm

A track and basketball coach at Spanaway Junior High has pleaded not guilty to second-degree child molestation.

Joseph Racillio Pendon, 50, of Tacoma, was arraigned Friday. He is a longtime employee at Bethel School District, working as a coach and paraeducator.

When Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrested him Thursday, he cried and said “he did not know what to do and he did not know what this was all about,” according to court documents.

Pendon is accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl whom he coached in track and basketball when she came to his house July 1 after selling firecrackers for a school fundraiser.

Charging documents give the following account:

Pendon asked the girl to help carry cardboard boxes to his home, which she did. Once there, he invited her into his bedroom to gather CDs and then wrestled with her in the family room.

After tickling her, Pendon held the girl down and asked if anyone ever had her in that position before. He then asked her to sit on his lap and asked to touch her breasts.

The girl was scared and said yes.

When the girl’s mother picked her up from Pendon’s house that day, she noticed the girl rushed outside without even putting her shoes on and was abnormally quiet.

Pendon allegedly called the girl’s house several times after the incident but she refused to talk to him.

They reported the alleged abuse after the girl told her mother what happened the following day.

Pendon is on administrative leave until the case is resolved, Bethel School District spokeswoman Krista Carlson said.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. everythingalaska says:

    Here we go again. How many Bethel teachers/employees have to be caught molesting our children before something is done. Research it and you will see that Bethel School District has a problem.

  2. cclngthr says:

    It is everywhere and not just Bethel. I remember 15 years ago being told to stay away from female students I worked with (I am a male). In 2008, this changed and I cannot get close to ANY student, male or female.

  3. everythingalaska says:

    I know. I am in the know. I am concerned about Bethel because thats my area of concern right now. I could tell you stories… would be shocked.

  4. chcknlittle says:

    You don’t even have the facts you idiot. In this case the facts will come out and you will see. I though this was America and you are innocent until proven guilty. Go ahead I want to hear some of your stories inform us

  5. tonnibell says:

    This is America! People are innocent until proven guilty…how do you “prove” this man did this? He didnt rape her, there is no blood, no fire….she was afraid so she said yes…hummmm.

  6. n0t_thatgirl says:

    Tonnibell, who are you to minimize this girl’s experience like that? She wasn’t hurt “bad enough” so she must be lying? It’s that kind of attitude that keeps victims from coming forward to begin with, and allows predators to walk the streets.

    I’m not ready to lynch this guy because I don’t have all the facts, but I will ALWAYS err on the side of supporting a victim. Reports of this nature should always be taken seriously. You can’t fathom the damage and the fallout if you ignore a real victim and call him/her a liar.

  7. chcknlittle says:

    The girl has issues…it will come out that she lied about the whole thing. She has a tendency to get herself involved in drama all the time. Pendon is a dedicated coach and he would never risk his family over some jr high girl.

  8. tonnibell says:

    nOT_thatgirl….I was mearly saying that “unfortunately” this man in innocent until “proven” guilty….I was by no means minimizing what this has done to her!! I’ve been down this road and its a long one for her. Of course he pleaded NOT GUILTY, he thinks he has a good chance due to the fact there was no rape, nothing brutal & most importantly NO DNA. She trusted him, was afraid & MOM noticed she wasnt acting right. Thats how it all went down when I was dealing with the Tacoma School Dist….he will get off scott free.
    chcknlitte….everyone has issues, if her Mom noticed her actions right after the incident, she didnt lie. Im sure he’s been a dedicated coach & you think he would NEVER risk his job, etc…..guess what? Thats what they all say!

  9. These sort of matters are always a touchy situation. What it essentially boils down to is a ‘he said, she said’ arguement. Whom do you believe? I’ve seen my fair share of false accusations and, more often than not, the accused gets sent up the river. Its easy to cry wolf and see someone pay the price for it. People do things out of spite, and the system makes it possible. I hope that this proceeds carefully; based solely upon its merits. its sad to see public opinion sway the course of justice.

    That being said, if he is in fact guilty and is found so, lock him up.

  10. chcknlittle says:

    Its all about money on the girls part TRUST ME!!!

  11. someonespecial says:

    pendon is innocent. He didnt do anything. EVERYONE at Spanaway Jr. knows him, and that girl too. Pendon would never do anything like that. As for the girl… She lied. She said all this stuff about how her boyfriend raped her, and how she got raped in the streets but she liked it, and she ruined Pendon’s life. I hope she realizes that. She made up a lie about one of the best people our school has ever known. Pendon has been working for sjh for the longest time, and its all over the minute this chick wants to say he molested her?!? thats messed up. Pendon is innocent and she lied. She’s caused so much trouble at our school, and its not even funny, but for her to ruin another man’s life, thats not even fair. Everyone misses Pendon, and all they want is for him to come back to where he belongs, at Spanaway Jr High

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