Former city of Charleston basketball coach gets 30 years for sexual assault
A jury took only 45 minutes Wednesday to convict a former city of Charleston basketball coach of molesting one of his players decades ago.
Circuit Judge Roger Young gave 49-year-old Keith Gadsden the maximum sentence of 30 years on the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
The victim in the case, now 33, only came forward after he wound up working with Gadsden at the city of Charleston Parks and Recreation Department, where the attack took place when he was 7 or 8 years old. The Post and Courier does not identify victims in sexual assault cases.
Gadsden asked the victim, some time between 1985 and 1987, if he wanted to play as a starter on the team. The boy went with Gadsden to the St. Julian Devine Community Center, expecting to practice, but Gadsden instead asked him to take off his pants and to lie down on the floor, authorities said.
Gadsden sodomized the boy, who then suffered silently for decades. He finally reported the attack to police three years ago.
The victim testified Tuesday the incident still gives him mood swings and trouble sleeping.
Elizabeth Gordon, the prosecutor in the case, said she hopes he finds peace now.
“It took a great deal of courage for the victim to come forward with the secret he had held for so long,” Gordon said. “It was clear from the beginning how what happened to him as a child had profoundly affected his life in ways the victim wasn’t even aware.”
In a recording played to the jury, Gadsden told the man that he doesn’t “deal like that” anymore, now that he has a girlfriend, a wife and children. Gadsden asked the man to move forward from something that happened so long ago.
The accuser filed a separate case last year, still pending in federal court, against the city, his former supervisor and Gadsden, alleging retaliation after he came forward.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said cases such as this one, in which the victim reports the crime long after it happened, often prove toughest to prosecute. In Gadsden’s case, she said, police pushed for strong evidence that led to a swift conviction.