Musings From the Bench

musings from the bench-2Last week I wrote about some cases of teachers acting inappropriately with their underage female students. Well it was reported on the local news that a 24-year old Junior Varsity Volleyball Coach at Agawam High School in Agawam, MA. was arrested on June 6th for statutory rape of a 15-year old female student. Here’s what the authorities say happened.

According to the victim she and the coach began a relationship by trading Snapchat pictures and messages. This led to texting.( I guess the fact that the girl was only 15 and therefore off limits never occurred to the coach.) Anyway, the girl said she started sneaking out of the house after midnight on Wednesdays to meet the coach who was in a local bar pool league that played on Wednesday nights.She said she would meet him at the beginning of her street and the two would walk to a nearby park where they began kissing.  This led to two instances of sexual assault.

Records state that the girl’s mom had her daughter’s password for the cell phone and laptop computer, confronted her daughter about what she found and called the police. Records further state that the relationship began in March and the final text message they recovered was sent June 2nd. The coach was charged in Westfield District Court (the town where he lives) and released on a $1,000 bail and fitted with an ankle bracelet.

Agawam Schools Superintendent sent a letter to parents on June 11th telling them “one of our coaches has been arrested for inappropriate contact. …..As a result of this arrest, the coach was informed that the district would no longer need his services.”

This isn’t the first time Michael Rash has run afoul with the law. He and “a pack” of other Westfield, MA. teens  were charged with ambushing a pizza delivery man in Westfield after 2am back in 2006. He and the others were charged in Superior Court in 2008 with armed and masked robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. But the charges against him were dismissed in 2009 and that’s why they never showed up on any criminal background check ordered by the Agawam School District. As for the pizza delivery man, he was shot with a pellet gun and beaten…..the two ringleaders in this attack pleaded guilty to assault and were sentenced to probation. Unbelievable……probation.

Well, now that the word is out about the girl’s behavior with the coach, let’s hope her classmates are a littlebeam me up more forgiving than the ones that hounded Minnesota teen Cherice who committed suicide after her classmates both bullied and shunned her for what her 47-year old business and technology teacher did to her. And that the judge hearing the case doesn’t blame the victim like she was some kind of modern day Lolita.

As my Facebook friend, and occasional 7poundbag blogger told me, every young man of his generation was smart enough to know underage meant jailbait.


Nothing in the online news or the TV news or the newspaper about whether or not the girl’s father was around, but if he was I’m glad he didn’t take matters into his own hands like that father in Maryland in last week’s blog. I don’t think this guy would refuse to press charges if Dad hit him upside the head with a baseball bat.


pogoDo any of you remember the Pogo comic strip that was in the newspaper from October 4, 1948 to July 20, 1975? (the strip was discontinued when newspapers began shrinking the size of the comics making them difficult to read) Pogo was a possum who lived in the Okefenokee Swamp along with Albert Alligator, Howland Owl, and many other swampland animals. One of Pogo’s most famous quotes was, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” That is as true today as it was the first day Pogo said it.

There have been 75, count ’em, 75 school shootings since the devastating Sandy Hook Elementary School murders. Some people have been calling for stricter gun laws. Others say teachers should be armed in the classroom. Some people say we should outlaw guns. Some people say more guns are the answer. And the NRA people believe the Federal Government is using these events to strip them of their Second Amendment Rights.

Well let me tell you something, putting more guns in schools is not the answer. The hostagegun laws we have in place now are the strictest we’ve ever had and isn’t preventing these tragedies from happening. As for the NRA, get over yourself. It’s just your paranoia kicking in. But we the people have to do something constructive about all this gun violence in our schools, on our streets, in our meeting places. I don’t understand why anyone not in law enforcement or the military needs a semi-automatic weapon to go pick up a gallon of milk and a package of diapers. The West has already been won. Stop trying to win it again.


moon-shooter_16813I always thought marijuana smokers were laid back and peaceful, except for wanting lots of munchies. But on June 11, 2014, Cameron Read, age 39 of Prescott Valley, Arizona, decided after getting high on marijuana that he was going to go outside and fire his handgun at the full moon, which he did. His girlfriend called police and told them upon their arrival that Cameron told her and her teenage son that he had seen Halley’s Comet. He struggled with police and was arrested. He admitted to the authorities that he had fired multiple shots “trying to shoot the moon” and that he’d also been smoking marijuana. He’s been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, resisting arrest, and a misdemeanor count of criminal damage.  The one thing he isn’t being charged with is not having a gun permit. Thank God the background checkers deemed his possession of a handgun safe.

And in conclusion I give you Neil deGrasse Tyson


Thanks for reading. Until next time.

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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. Pogo… nice flashback from the past.

    Walt Kelly… his creator.. wasborn in Philly but moved to Bridgeport, CT when he was two. One of my birth places claims to fame.

  2. Unfortunately, I believe these incidents of inappropriate contact with children will get worse before it gets better. We have judges and lawyers protecting assailants and blaming the victims. When an individual is actually found guilty, he isn’t punished, but placed on probation and told not to do it again. There needs to be some concern for what’s going to happen. I could go on, but frankly the topic pisses me off.

  3. The Court of Public Opinion here in MA is already blaming the victim. Many are saying she set out to seduce the coach, some are saying they don’t blame him because 15-year old girls look a lot older than 15. But, come on, if you’re a grown man (assuming a 24-year old IS a grown man) and you’re getting involved with a high school student, well, let’s face it, you’re dumb as a box of rocks.

  4. What difference does it make if she looked older? If she was one of his students, he KNEW how old she was. Or at least he knew she wasn’t 18 in the 10th grade.

  5. I agree, it shouldn’t make a difference but here again the public is blaming the victim. My hope is whoever the judge is doesn’t.

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