Rape Case Against Coach Bound Over To Grand Jury - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Rape Case Against Coach Bound Over To Grand Jury

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The case against a popular soccer coach accused of statutory rape has been bound over the grand jury.

In court Wednesday, George "Rico" Laise's defense team asked the judge to drop two of the four charges against him, but were denied.

According to police, the 46-year-old coach admitted to a sexual relationship with a then 16-year-old on his traveling soccer team.

A Metro sex crimes detective told the court that Laise admitted having sex with the girl 20 times.

The detective also said Laise told him the victim would threaten to commit suicide if he refused to let her come over to his home.

"Then he said she would ask to come over to the place and he said then she would initiate the sexual relationship and he said he would not turn her down," said Charles Fleming with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The victim told detectives that she began having sex with Laise in March 2012 that continued through April of this year, a period during which she suffered from a concussion-related depression. She told police they engaged in sexual activity more than 50 times. According to the affidavit Laise said, "his rationale for continuing the sexual relationship was a misguided attempt to help her cope with her mental health crisis."

The victim also told police the sex occurred primarily at Laise's then-residence in Bellevue.

Charges against Laise include two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and two counts of rape involving a victim with a mental incapacity.

Metro Police said there could be as many as seven victims when they're finished investigating.

Laise attempted suicide in jail after his arrest, but has since recovered.

Laise has been coaching various youth soccer teams in the Nashville area since the late 1990s and offered private lessons.

In response to the allegations, Harpeth Hall, where he was most recently a coach, placed Laise on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Tennessee Soccer Club fired him.

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