PICKENS, MS (WLBT) – A Holmes County parent contacted WLBT after last week's story on the burned Pickens playground reporting that an interviewed coach was a registered sex offender and should not be around the children.
Coach Michael Levy said he has served his time and is now giving back to the community.
Forty-eight-year-old Pickens Youth Softball Coach Michael Levy practiced with his team Monday teaching them the fundamentals of the game and sportsmanship.
The volunteer coach recently spoke out supporting the rebuilding of a burned Pickens playground.
He said that made him a target because he is a registered sex offender, something he said he's never hidden.
"It's never been a complaint before. Herman brought out some issues about this town and now they're picking me as a target. I am a registered sex offender. 1990 I was charged with a sex offense charge where I served five years," said Levy.
He was convicted in Black Hawk, Iowa, in 1990 charged with sexual abuse second degree.
The Pickens resident said he was accused of touching a young, female relative.
He said he served his time and has always registered.
Denise Boyd is among the parents who know about Levy's conviction.
Her 12-year-old son has been on the team for three years.
"I just figured that it's probably just somebody probably got something against him or don't like him or something like that otherwise he's alright with me," said Boyd.
Other volunteer coaches said Levy uses his own money to purchase balls, bats and gloves and takes the children to the games when parents can't.
"The man did his crime and did his time so it should be no problem you know long as he's doing right by the kids and doing for the community," said Pickens Softball Coach Lamont Southern.
"All I'd say to a parent is come out here and watch him. He does good every day. Just come watch him," said Coach Romero Bush.
"They've got to judge what they see in me. I mean they have been knowing me all my life. They've seen me here the last five years working with kids," added Levy.
The Pickens native said he's now trying to overcome a mistake made 20 years ago.
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