COOPER CITY (CBSMiami) — A former Cooper City youth baseball coach has accepted a plea deal ahead of his trial on child molestation charges.
David Solomon, 48, was headed to trial Wednesday morning on sexual battery cases that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
Instead, after much hand-wringing, Solomon agreed to plead guilty and receive a dozen years in prison.
The parents of one of his victims angrily told Solomon in court that he has ruined a part of their son’s life. But David Solomon remained defiant about his innocence.
Prosecutors say Solomon earned the trust of his baseball players in Cooper City, and their parents too, enabling him to spend alone time with the children. On numerous occasions, police and prosecutors say Solomon violated that trust by molesting two of those boys.
In court Wednesday, as Solomon prepared for trial, he took a plea deal offered by the state — 12 years in prison and 10 years of sex offender probation.
The parents of one of his victims gave him a piece of their minds.
“You will never understand the pain, the hurt, the damage you caused my son,” said a mother. “You stole his innocence from him.”
“Because of you! He must suffer the rest of his life,” said a father. “Shame on you!”
Solomon stood defiant in the face of those words, and told the judge and the parents that he is innocent.
“I did not harm any of those kids. I didn’t,” he said. “Not one. Not one.”
His attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, said Solomon realized that if he was convicted on just one of the many charges against him, he could have been looking at life in prison.
“He didn’t want to admit to something that he didn’t do,” said Schwartzreich. “But it was a struggle for him and he realized this gives him the opportunity. He’ll be out in hopefully eight years and he’ll have the opportunity to see his family.”
Police accused Solomon of making up touching games with the boys and then telling them not to tell anyone about his actions.
Prosecutor Patyl Oflazian said the reason for the plea was clear.
“Spare these children from going through the trauma of reliving their sexual abuse if it was possible to come to a resolution,” she said.
She said she also wanted to make sure that Solomon accepted guilt and that the community was protected. But the parents of one victim said their son suffers nightmares and needs therapy. His father said it’s difficult for his son to even hug him.
Solomon also faced accusations years ago of similar behavior in Miami but those charges were dropped when he attended a diversion program and attended counseling. Regardless of Solomon’s denials, one thing is certain. Prosecutors said Solomon will now be listed as a sexual predator.