Former youth baseball coach accepts second plea deal offered in molestation case
David Solomon will serve 12 years in prison, 10 years probation
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A former Cooper City youth baseball coach who is accused of molesting two boys on his team accepted a plea deal Wednesday.
As part of the plea deal, David Solomon pleaded guilty to felony sexual battery and molestation charges, and will serve 12 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation. He will also be registered as a sexual predator.
Solomon initially refused the deal, but the judge warned him that he would face 18 mandatory life sentences if he was found guilty on all counts. He would also have no chance of parole.
Solomon asked the judge for another day to think over the deal. The judge gave him 45 minutes.
Solomon briefly addressed the victims' families in court, saying that he did not hurt their children, despite accepting the plea deal.
"I did not harm anyone's kids," Solomon said. "I didn't. Not one. Not one. And I will go to my grave, and tell everybody today, that I am innocent in their case, and I wish I had the opportunity to prove it."
One of the boy's father also addressed Solomon, telling him that his child is suffering because of Soloman's actions.
"That's an 11-year-old boy, (now) 13. And who knows how long -- because of you, he must suffer the rest of his life," the father said. "I cannot hug him the way a father should hug his son. I cannot horse play with him anymore. Because of you, he has nightmares. He has horrors. Because of you, he needs constant therapy, medication (and has) thoughts of harming himself."
Solomon previously declined a plea deal in February that would have sentenced him to 25 years in prison. He also agreed Feb. 24 to consolidate the two criminal cases against him.
The former baseball coach was charged with 18 felony sexual battery and molestation counts after two 11-year-old boys on his Optimist baseball team claimed that he touched them inappropriately during car rides and at sleepovers at his home.
"You will never understand the pain, the hurt, the damage you caused my son," of the victim's mothers said. "You stole his innocence from him."
Solomon was previously arrested on molestation charges in 2000 while working as a physical education teacher at Hialeah Gardens Elementary School.
In that case, Solomon and his attorneys claimed that the two boys, who were under the age of 14, were lying. One of the boys eventually recanted his claims, and the state dropped the charges against Solomon.
Solomon's attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, said accepting the plea deal Wednesday was "a struggle for him, because he did not want to admit to something he did not do."
Prosecutor Patyl Oflazain said she only agreed to a plea deal "to spare these children from going through the trauma of reliving their sexual abuse."
Solomon has been in jail since his arrest in July 2015.
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