News

No bail set for Castlewood tennis coach facing molestation charges

At least two female victims report ongoing sexual abuse between 1995 and 2001

No bail has been set for Henry John Germain, the director of tennis programs at Castlewood Country Club, who was arrested Monday on charges of alleged child molestation.

Appearing at an arraignment before Judge Hugh Walker Wednesday afternoon at the Pleasanton courthouse, the district attorney said he wanted to be conservative and not allow Germain's release, adding that the victims reported sexual abuse that took place on a daily basis, potentially "hundreds" of times.

Germain, a 62-year-old Dublin resident, was formally charged with eight counts of lewd behavior on minors, some with a child under the age of 14. The Alameda County Sheriff's office reports that numerous molestation incidents occurred between 1995 and 1999, although the judge said some could have occurred up to 2001.

Several times during Germain's arraignment the judge stressed the seriousness of the felony charges, adding that they are also considered violent, involving foreign objects. Germain spoke before the judge in the courtroom, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, and appeared stoic.

According to the county sheriff's report, some of the victims informed the Castlewood Country Club of the previous molestations so that management could take employment action against Germain. That led the sheriff's department to begin their investigation late last week, ending with Monday's arrest.

Two women are reported as the victims in the charges, although officials have said there's a good possibility that there may be more. The victims are reportedly children of club members. Jerry Olson, general manager of the Castlewood Country Club, said the club's reaction is "one of great disappointment and concern for the families of the victims."

"This is obviously not what our club stands for," he said.

Germain, worked at Castlewood for 16 years, where he taught juniors and adults tennis as the club's tennis professional. Prior to that, he worked at the Pleasanton ClubSport. Olson declined to comment on whether Germain was still employed with the club, saying that any actions would be premature.

"We are going to let the legal process take its course," he said.

Olson, who has served as general manager for just over a month, said he doesn't believe they will change hiring policies as a result of this incident.

"We have a pretty extensive hiring background check," he said. "We're pretty confident with our processes as they stand."

At the Wednesday arraignment, Germain said the lawyer he has contacted for representation was on vacation and was unable to contact any others. The judge scheduled a plea hearing for this morning. It's possibility it will be postponed if Germain is not able to secure legal representation.

Prior to the Wednesday hearing, people who know Germain gathered around the courthouse and shared words of shock and disbelief. Close friends and family of the suspect declined when asked to comment on the allegations.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about the case are encouraged to contact detectives. Victim information is kept confidential. The anonymous tip line is 510-667-3622.

To read a related story, click here: http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/news/show_story.php?id=819

Comments

Posted by idk, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Sep 3, 2008 at 5:49 pm

he is a good man at heart
he just has an illness that needs to be treated


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 3, 2008 at 6:50 pm

One can minimize the sexual assault against children or you can educate yourselves about people who are child molesters and willing to destroy the lives of innocent children.

Henry is an EVIL man. He is indeed a sick person, but you know what, there is treatment that works to cure this level of evil.

This about more than the big bad wolf. It is about EVIL.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 3, 2008 at 6:52 pm

There is no cure for this evil...sad...


Posted by concerned citizen, a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I am so sad to hear about yet another child molestaton involving a sports trainer/teacher/coach in Pleasanton. It was inevitable that he would eventually get caught. Let the legal system do what they need to do. It is a sad day for those young women involved in sports.


Posted by asdf, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2008 at 12:32 am

what happened to innocent until proven guilty?


please don't pass judgment on this man until the legal system has determined him either guilty or not. I know henry and until i see hard evidence, i have complete trust in his innocence.


Posted by no name, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 4, 2008 at 7:31 am

i've been taught with henry for years and i have never been sexually assualted in anyway, he is a very good man but i would be very very sad to hear if he is guilty. it will be a complete shame because he was a very good teacher and the the fact that he would do something like his is a suprise to most all of us. if u didnt have him as a teacher, you wouldnt understand how suprising this was and it just caught us all off guard. and to thik he was areested on court infrotn of all his pupils on the day of a tournemnet........its just a shame


Posted by Arlene, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 4, 2008 at 11:37 am

This article says the police have tape recordings that contain incriminating admissions....

Tennis instructor charged in sex abuse of girls

Tennis teacher faces sexual abuse charges
Sophia Kazmi
Valley Times
Article Last Updated: 09/03/2008 11:28:28 PM PDT


PLEASANTON — A 62-year-old tennis instructor at Castlewood Country Club was charged Wednesday afternoon with sexually abusing at least three young girls during the late 1990s, authorities said.

Henry John Germain of Dublin stood silently behind the glass separating jail inmates from the Pleasanton courtroom as Judge Hugh Walker read the sexual child abuse felony charges that authorities said occurred from 1996 to 2001.

The girls, ages 9 to 12 and his students at the time, are now women in their 20s.

Germain, who did not enter a plea, was arrested Monday by Alameda County Sheriff's deputies at the country club.

According to court documents, two of the women, working with police, secretly recorded a conversation they had with Germain after confronting him on the club's tennis courts.

When one of the women told him how the abuse had affected her life, he told her was sorry for all the things he had done to her.

"Germain made several admissions and apologies for sexually abusing (Jane) Doe #1," the report stated.

"His statements were very incriminating and help confirm Doe #1, Doe #2 and Doe #3 allegations."

The sheriff's office received letters written by the three women, who all took lessons around the same time at the country club, describing the alleged abuse, stating they didn't want it to happen to anyone else.

The accusations ranged from inappropriate touching to pinning one girl in a corner at Germain's home and touching her while playing a pornographic video.

One of the women said she remembered Germain telling her that she was pretty and she deserved the abuse.

At least one victim said the abuse occurred almost daily.

Germain has no criminal record or other complaints against him about his dealing with children.

When he was interviewed by detectives, he said he inappropriately touched children, but denied touching them sexually, according to court documents.

He told detectives he thought the two women were attractive when they were children, but didn't do anything because he knew it was wrong.

Detectives say more victims may be out there. Germain remains on a no-bail status at Santa Rita county jail in Dublin and he is forbidden to have contact with the two victims deputies have talked to so far, as well as anyone under age 18 without appropriate adult supervision.

"It is very possible there will be additional charges," said Deputy District Attorney Ronda Theisen.

Investigators ask possible victims to call the sheriff's office's anonymous tip line at 510-667-3622, Sgt. Raymond Kelly at 510-667-3657 or Detective Rick Gonzales at 510-667-4906.


Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of Valley Trails
on Sep 4, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Thank you Arlene...


Posted by anon parent, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

"he is a good man at heart"????? What's WRONG with you? This kind of abuse, of innocent children, is just about the worst thing that any human being could do. There is a reason sexual predators are often killed while under custody -- even those who commit horriffic crimes think that child abuse is WORSE.


Posted by A Castlewood Member, a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I have been involved with the legal system for a number of years. I have worked with two individuals, one who was an habitual gambler and thief and the other a serial child molester. Neither was green nor did either wear a sign stating their sickness. In today's sue friendly legal environment, the prosecution generally does not file unless it has a pretty solid case.

The best defense is to trust no one and keep the communication open with your children.


Posted by VBB, a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2008 at 10:24 pm

The fact that it stated it happened almost on a daily basis stuns me. I do not see how he had the time. He coached there at least 5 days a week. Always teaching and always people around. Someone must have noticed something odd.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 4, 2008 at 10:56 pm

i am pretty confident that the police and the district attorney would not bring such serious charges against a person if they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. prosecutors in our county are very stringent and do not file non provable charges. Remember that you may think you know a person but u never know what is in a persons inner soul. the reasons molesters are so successful is because they carefully pick their prey and are masters of deceit. please don't be ignorant. the world is a cruel unfair place. i hope everyone finds a happy resolution.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 7:53 am

Regarding the comment that "He coached there at least 5 days week....", what about Clinton. It only takes a minute, molesting is not a full-time job.


Posted by HTA, a resident of Dublin
on Sep 5, 2008 at 9:11 am

First, let me say that I have known Henry for a number of years and like him. Also, as someone well acquainted with a victim of a pedophile, I have seen first hand the lasting damage it causes and do not want to be considered an apologist for such behavior. While I respect the comments that the police and prosecutors would not bring such serious charges unless they had done an adequate (and hopefully thorough) investigation, it's important to keep in mind the fundamental tenet of our judicial system-- innocent until proven guilty. More importantly, before casting judgment on this particular situation, I think it's important to keep in mind that no statement on Henry's behalf has been made yet. The media's reports are based only on the version of events provided by the police and prosecutors. My bottom line is that until the judicial system runs its course, I'll continue to view Henry as the likeable man and good father that I know, not as what I read in the press.


Posted by hmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 10:40 am

well said, HTA. i completely agree.


Posted by Justice please, a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 11:35 am

Please,
The "charges" against our neighbor Henry are serious and need to be legally vetted. Then a dozen of us will decide. Until then, we all are due our lives and liberty protected as we know it. Any one of us could be an "accused." A little prayer on the matter might clarify our civil accord.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 5, 2008 at 11:49 am

The wheels of justice grind slowly. Justice will be done.

Henry is behind bars.

Some families turn a blind eye and set up other children as decoys so that their children remain safe from the perpetrator.

Patience.



Posted by HTA, a resident of Dublin
on Sep 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Got Henry?


Posted by CCC, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm

I worked with Henry at Castlewood and never thought he would do anything like that. But recently I had found out that a close family friend was molesting a sibling of mine so i guess you can NEVER tell which is very terrifying. Its a shame some people in the world can be so messed up and seem so normal.


Posted by Castlewood Resident, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 7:05 pm

I am not a blogger, but maybe this will be theraputic in some way. I hope I do not make it too long. I live in Castlewood, I have daughters who have been involved in Henry's clinics, private lessons, and have even visited local tennis tournaments (with other adults) with Henry in his van. My daughters started at the age the suggested victims were when the alleged crimes took place.

I have always been the one that told everybody that Henry Germain was the best thing going in Castlewood. He could make looser shine, he could make those physically gifted true stars, and he could enhance self esteem in all of his students. He could start with a 5 year old and teach him tennis that would enable him to be on the tennis team in high school and excel whether he was able to excel academically, in leadership or in art. Henry had the ability to help children feel good about themselves by learning, achieving, and excelling. Henry could make that child a star in a athletic evironment through his "drop in" clinics. I strongly want to believe that Henry is innocent.

Now. . . is what we are hearing true? I hope not, but I have discussed this with my daughters (who are still young), but old enough to have computers, access web-sites, read blogs, and talk to their friends at middle school, and develop opinions.

This is what they are saying. I really hope Henry is okay. Henry surely is not going to stay in jail is he? What about his Henry's place--who is going to take care of that. Henry would not do those things we have read about. Do you realize, Mom, how good he is with kids and how much time he spends trying to make them even better than they are.

Then I talk. Yes, but sometimes strange things happen. The people we trust have a strange side that may come out only when you are with them. I know you were never at Henry's house, but you were in that back room at the pro shop. What, if Henry, when you were 9 years old touched your underwear--what would you do. "Mom, we knew even in the second grade that it was not right--we would have scooted out of that back room into the pro shop and out the front door if needed. We would have known even at 9 that was not a fun thing to do. Beside that if nobody was there we would have run up the hill to the country club office". In addition to their comments, I never left them at the clinics without checking even on rainey days that the clinic was going to happen and that there were other children there. I never arrived late to pick them up. I never walked down to the pro shop, but I could see them in that window handing out Gummie Bears and sodas to the winners of matches. Everything looked acceptable to me--and it was for my daughters.

Now you know where I am going. As hopeless as I might seem in hoping for the innocence of Henry, I am sorry, but I must ask, If Henry is guilty-- where was the gosh darn parents??? Let me ask the Mothers and fathers. Would you permit your precious 9-12 year old to go to a sleep-over at the home of one of their friends who had a single parent who was a man? I hope you said "NO". Would you drop your child off at the club at 1pm and pick them up at 7 pm, pay for 1 1/2 hour of a clinic, but use the tennis courts as a baby sitter even though it was pouring down rain and nobody was in sight. Would you happily send your child off to tennis tournaments, Austrailia, Arizona with the tennis pro because you worked and did not want to take the time off from work?

Now I know where you are going. That does not give the tennis pro the license to take advantage, abuse, and ruin a childs life--you are right. But, there are responsibilities on both sides.

I pray for the alleged victims, I pray for Henry. I want all to be innocent. I want to "reset" back to a day before all of this happened. We need the help of a superior being to help us through this and I hope he is listening to all of us--the alleged victims, Henry, and those of us who are suffering. I hope he can help all of us.



Posted by Interested Person, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Let me ask you. If you were the abused, suddenly turned 20, woke up one morning with your brains in tack and decided to report this criminal abuse that had ruined your life would you have gone to the General Manager of the Castlewood Country Club and reported the abuse and asked that the tennis pro be fired OR would you have gone to the police. I think it would have depended on your goal and our parents goal.


Posted by friend, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Castlewood resident,, you took the words right out of my mouth, Hurray to you. Well stated well done. and to Interested Person, my thoughts exactly, wouldn't you go directly to the police? Were they trying to get some money from Castlewood,, maybe some college tuition? Seems a bit weird and bizarre... How could this man fool thousands of us, just doesn't seem plausable.


Posted by Alabama Man, a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 7, 2008 at 7:24 pm

As one who learned from Henry my entire life as both a student and pupil who worked for him numerous years I know that what he taught on the court was true and good. It is unfortunate to think that his actions off the court may/did not mirror the person he was at Castlewood. Henry helped me not just as a coach but as a mentor and helped me out of numerous jams. This is a country founded on the legal belief that a man is innocent until proven guilty and although taped confessions are alleged my heart tells me he was/is incapable of these actions. My heart goes out to all in the Castlewood community and those who have learned from Henry over the years.


Posted by Mario, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2008 at 9:51 pm

My mother is a Hippo.


Posted by VBB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Alabama Girl you fool. Your heart is you know where.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 8, 2008 at 3:22 pm

This case will eventually end up in court. Until, everybody move on.
It is getting crazier and crazier.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm

The Judge must know something that we don't know? I think that he might have perceived Henry as an escape risk? Or, that Henry exhibited suicidal ideation and posed to great a risk to himself to be released.

He's a jailbird and he behind bars where he belongs.

Have mercy. Whatever...


Posted by Pam, a resident of Gatewood
on Sep 9, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Castlewood Resident-Are you implying that a single father is likely to be a child molester? Why would that be?
A man with a child, who's wife died, or is divorced, or never married, is likely to be a child molester? On what basis are you making that judgment?
The typical child molester (if you do some research you will find this) is a married heterosexual man with children.
It's odd when people talk about all the wonderful times they had with child molesters, as if that proves they're not child molesters. I have yet to read of a child molester who gave any signs of being one except to their victims. Yet people seem to think there should be obvious signs. "Well, I'm not too surprised. He did wear that dildo on his head. Never could figure out why. And he wore it to nursery schools, he'd circle them for hours with that dang thing on his head."
Give me a break. Child molesters act and look just like everyone else except when they're molesting a child. That's the only time they look and act like child molesters. The rest of the time, they look like you and me.


Posted by Louise, a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 9, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Dear Castlewood Resident, What your daughters say they would have done if molested and what they actually would have done are two entirely different things. Your daughters have no idea (thankfully) how flooded with shame they would have been if an adult male had molested them. It is a shame that feels like "I am bad. I am so bad that I could never say out loud or even think in my own head what is happening." It is a shame that is paralyzing and overwhelming. Your daughters have no clue about the way their child psyches would have reacted to being violated by an adult. Of course they think they do, but you should know better.
When I was molested at age 5 I became absolutely frozen and rigid with terror. I could not speak, let alone scream. For years afterwards, I was afraid that I would be attacked again and I would be unable to scream for help. It's a horrible feeling.


Posted by Wendy, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 10, 2008 at 11:43 am

VBB-Someone must have noticed something odd? Did you read Barbara's post of an article about former Fairlands Elementary school teacher and convicted child molester Neil Shumate? (On another thread with this same topic.) Odd things were noticed and reported, and no actions were taken for years. People are interested in their own welfare, not that of children. I commend the teacher, Ms. Paddack, for being the rare adult who acts on behalf of the safety and welfare of children. She had to leave Fairlands for her trouble. They didn't want her around because she reported on a teacher who was hurting students. Fairlands must be so proud of themselves.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 10, 2008 at 12:16 pm

idk--'he is a good man at heart. He just has an illness that needs to be treated.'
So if you find me bashing your head in with an iron pipe, please remember that I am a good man at heart. I just have an illness that needs to be treated.


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Sycamore Place
on Sep 10, 2008 at 12:22 pm

As an adult member of the Pleasanton community, I want to apologize to all the children of Pleasanton. We are a pathetic bunch that would rather rally 'round an adult creep that hurts kids than take a stand for what is right. We're more interested in keeping our jobs than reporting on a teacher who is hurting children. We'd rather disbelieve you than face the reality of adult behavior. Teenage suicide rates are extremely high and rising. How many of these dead children were the victims of molestation? How many were ignored by the adults in their lives when they needed help?
The saddest thing about children is they grow up to be us.


Posted by Spike, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 10, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I appreciate the talents of Ms. Paddack...both as a teacher as well as an educator...and a person. Her concern about the health and welfare of her students is exemplary. My regret is that my grandchildren never had her as as a teacher...


Posted by Integrity, a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I was in court today and was captivated by the audience. It seems that you have a bunch of Desperate Housewives and their over-privileged daughters in there just looking for attention. These young ladies were more than likely not victims but wanted the gossip needed to boost their reputation at the Clubhouse. If you believe he is guilty then dress appropriately for court and listen to the facts of the case. You don't need permission from your best friend, the Paris Hilton lookalike to make the decision for you. This is not gossip, this is about the lives' of many people that have or will be destroyed or impacted by this case. If you truly believe this man is innocent then read the docket, the victim statements and conclude your own truth. These documents might make you reconsider your opinion about Mr.Germain. If these victims are lying, then Castlewood has much bigger problems than missing tennis practice.


Posted by apparent, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 30, 2008 at 7:23 am

To friend and intereted persons comment on 9/5-9/6

These girls came forward to stop Henry from abusing others.
They went exactly where I would say is the emmediate source.

How sick to try and find a fault against these girls. What will
you say to all the others that came forth?
Thanks to these girls our girls are in a safer place!


Posted by apparent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

Other comments about why these girls didn't report it immediatly after it happened is also very cruel.


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