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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)
By Melissa Powell melissa.powell@roanoke.com 381-8621

A former volunteer soccer coach awaiting trial in Pulaski County on three counts of taking indecent liberties with minors has been indicted on new charges out of Giles County.

Russell K. Simpson, 44, of Pulaski, is now also facing two counts of forcible sodomy of a child under the age of 13 and one count of taking indecent liberties with a person under the age of 15, according to Pulaski County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Naomi Huntington, who has been appointed special prosecutor.

Huntington said the Giles County commonwealth's attorney's office had a conflict with the case and asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed. Huntington declined to comment on the nature of the conflict.

Simpson was indicted on the new charges by a Giles County grand jury on July 8, according to online records.

Pulaski County Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Fleenor said the new charges arose after an individual came forward regarding incidents that allegedly occurred in the late 1990s.

According to online jail records, Simpson was incarcerated on July 11. He had been out on a $5,000 bond but was being held without bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail on Tuesday afternoon.

Simpson was first arrested in May 2013 on the Pulaski County charges, which are alleged to have occurred in 2006 and 2010, authorities have said.

Robert Hiss, Pulaski County's former assistant administrator, said in May 2013 that Simpson coached on and off for several years with the Pulaski County Recreation Department. The county learned of the ongoing investigation before the 2013 spring season, and Simpson did not reapply to coach, Hiss has said.

"It goes into our policy of not allowing folks to coach if they're under investigation," Hiss said at the time. "We do background checks, we do coaches trainings, we do everything we can in order to protect the kids from difficult situations. We didn't know anything about this until we heard about the investigation."

Simpson coached a variety of age groups, Hiss has said. The recreational league is open to boys and girls from 5 to 13 years old, according to the county's recreation department website.

"Up until we understood there was an investigation, we had never received any complaints," Hiss said at the time. "We had no reason to suspect anything."

Hiss said after Simpson's first arrest that he did not know if the charges were related in any way to Simpson's time as a coach.

Simpson's Pulaski County charges are set for a trial on Sept. 19. He is scheduled to have an attorney appointed today in Giles County, according to online records.

 

photo - Russell Simpson

 

July 16, 2014

 

 
 

 

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