CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — A youth basketball coach is charged in Clay County, Mo., after police find out he’s violating the terms of his sex offender notification by coaching.
Darin Mason has instructed kids with the KC Pumas Basketball League for at least seven years, according to parents, despite his clear registration as a Missouri sex offender. It took one investigative grandfather to tip off police. Now, Mason is charged with a felony in Clay County.
Twelve years ago, Darin Mason pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old girl on his Oak Park High basketball team, according to archive media reports. Mason served two years probation and 10 days in the Platte County Jail and the felony was expunged from his record.
He is still, however, required to register as a sex offender for life. And according to police records, he agreed he would not serve as a coach of kids under the age of 17.
But according to parents, Mason has been coaching in the KC Pumas basketball league for at least seven years.
“I asked one of the people sitting next to me who the coach was, said Bill Shull, a liberty attorney and a proud grandfather of one of Mason’s players.
Shull “googled” Mason’s name after watching a game, found Mason’s sex offender status and called police.
“The internet is a wonderful, wonderful tool. It took me all of five minutes to find out a situation existed and it shouldn’t have existed,” he said.
It did exist though, and according to a player, parent and coach at the Pumas practice on Tuesday, many people knew about Mason’s status. The coach at the practice refused to give FOX 4 his name, but claimed he wasn’t Coach Mason and said what happened 15 years ago wasn’t the truth and isn’t an issue.
“My experience has been, as a criminal defense lawyer, that there are many, many cases of recidivism of sex offenders and we wanted to make sure that our grandsons was not going to be one of those victims,” Shull said.
Mason is charged as a sex offender serving as a coach, which is a felony. He bonded out of jail on Tuesday but faces up to four years in prison.