CHICAGO -- A South Side man was charged on Thursday with sexually abusing and assaulting two boys between 2005 and 2007.
Carmelo Ramirez, 46, was arrested after police said he was positively identified as the man who sexually abused and assaulted the two victims. The assault happened between March 2005 and March 2007 on the 4100-block of south Maplewood Avenue, police said. Both victims were between the ages of 10 and 14.
Police said during the incident, the offender gained their trust by purchasing the boys gifts and taking them on outings. Police said once the trust was gained, the offender brought the victims to his residence, where he abused and assaulted the minors.
Ramirez was a Little League baseball coach at Brighton Kelly Park. The case came to light now after one alleged victim learned his mother had signed up two other family members to play this spring, and Ramirez would have been his coach.
Those who knew Ramirez said he was well-liked and would often have team parties and have players spend the night at his home.
"I'm shocked. I mean, to me he was a good coach, he was always good with the kids," said Jorge Arroyo.
"He was a good coach. Like, I stayed over a couple times, but when I stayed over there were always four or five other players with me," said Jorge Arroyo, Jr., a former player on Ramirez's team.
Ramirez was also a board member for the baseball league. The website had him listed earlier Thursday, but his photo was erased by the afternoon.
Looking back, the former player says there may have been signs that something was off.
"It was strange to me that he was chilling with some of the players like they were his kids. He would have them over to his crib, his house, things like that," Arroyo, Jr., said.
Ramirez appeared in bond court on Thursday where he was issued a $100,000 bond.
Little League International said they were aware of the arrest and would not comment on ongoing legal issues.
An earlier report from police said the man was charged with sexually assaulting a 2-year-old, which was incorrect. Police released corrected information around 2 p.m. on Thursday. null