Germain pleads no contest to molestation charges, faces 15 years in state prison Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Apr 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm
Henry Germain, the 62-year-old former Castlewood Country Club tennis pro, appeared in court today and changed his plea to no contest in exchange for dropping 13 charges against him. According to Deputy District Attorney Susan Torrance, he was charged with three counts of child molestation, which comes with 15 years in state prison.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 3:38 PM
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm
To all you people who said he was not guilt, would you not fight the charges if you were truly not guilty? The the person who said thanks for putting my dad in jail, if you don't want to do the time don't do the crime!!
Posted by Coach, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm
If the person writing about their dad is really one of Mr. Germain's children, I know this young girl. She is a sweet child and has been through enough.
This is normally a site for people to share as they wish, and it should be a site for that. But this is a special circumstance with a very young and innocent member of our community has become involved. Her father's actions have nothing to do with her.
I am begging you, please be a good neighbor and refrain from at least some of the negativity, just this once, not because you aren't entitled to your opinion but because she is reading this. Your negative comments aren't going change the situation. They might help you get some of your anger out but they aren't going to help anyone.
It breaks my heart for her to be reading any of this, she has been through enough, we as a community have a chance to not make it worse. You are entitled to your opinions and are entitled to express them. You shouldn't have to go out of your way for others but please consider it in this special circumstance.
Posted by Kris, a resident of another community, on Apr 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm
There can never be a "good" ending to this story. Yes, there are many victims, including this man's wife and children. Keep in mind, his victims were very close to his own daughters age. They too were innocents and did not deserve what he took from them. My heart goes out to all of those that this very sick person has inflicted pain upon. Sadly, he can never get what he truly deserves in this lifetime.
Posted by concerned, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm
If this little girl is so young and innocent as you say than I am happy that a person like her father will no longer have a chance to be a part of her life. She should consider herself lucky that someone was brave enough to come forward and stop this man from harming any more innocent children. She or one of her friends could have been the next victim. I for one am happy that such a disgusting human being will no longer be able to prey on helpless children.
Posted by justice served, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2009 at 9:18 pm
what a great job done by the alameda county sheriff's office and the district attorney. This case has really touched our community and enlightened parents. It is nice to know that for the next 15 years, Henry can not harm a child. I am sorry that his children have lost their father and will endure future scrutiny and finger pointing. They are also victims of their fathers sick and selfish behavior. Henry molested children for 30 years and was protected by the elite community he surrounded himself with. How else could a man like him afford to be out on bail and get away with these crimes for so long. The victims are the true hero's here. Imagine what they have been through in the last several months. They really must welcome this closure. It is nice to see that the system works and justice has prevailed. Our community is safer now. Castlewood Country Club should be commended for their transparency and commitment to their members.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm
At the risk of sounding crass, I'm going to say that I don't feel particularly sorry for the victims. Some of this stuff was so far in the past, that I think they should have realized the time for bringing it up had passed. for those who participated in trying to "trap" Henry into some sort of confession to be later used as evidence, well I don't agree with those type of tactics. I hope those girls have serious mental issues for the rest of their lives for getting involved with such underhanded tactics. If they actually were molested, they should have brought it up when it happened, not sit on it for years.
Posted by Doo Doo, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm
I will pay top dollar to anyone who can tell me where I can find Qwerty! I know someone out there knows who they are, and I will negotiate on the money. Qwerty's last post was not only evil, it requires action. Please help me find him NOW! I will wait for some to tell me they know who he is and then we will discuss privately money am I promise to keep you anonymous. Thank you
Posted by im with doo doo, a resident of another community, on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm
doo doo I am right there with. Qwerty you are an idiot! Imagine if something like this were to happen to your daughter, sister or mother. You deserve to rot just like henry does for making such an iconsiderate and idiotic remark. These are children we're talking about. I sincerely hope I can meet you face to face one day and we can discuss the comments you just made.
Posted by Sonja, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 7:06 am
THEY did not put Henry in jail; HENRY put himself in jail. These victims stopped him from harming other children. Part of the reason they waited so long was because they know and love his children. What a choice they had to make! And they may have had mental problems for most of their lives if they had not found closure here. Now they can begin to heal. If the victims in Southern California had come forward twenty years ago this would not have happened here but twenty years ago there was not the support system for victims that there is now. Look how many people have been educated about sex offenders through this ordeal and how many parents are looking twice at who they leave their children with. Bless you, girls, for your courage!
Posted by sonja, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 7:52 am
An interesting note here for Qwerty: The main reason these victims did not come forward is because all of their parents were very good friends with Henry and they did not think anyone would believe them. So, Qwerty, if you are still Henry's friend you are still being used by him and your children or grandchildren could be his next victim. And you will never know because they will be afraid to come forward since he is your friend.
Posted by Been there, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 8:33 am
Qwerty - As a victim myself, you will NEVER know the ramifications of the vile behaviour inflicted on a young innocent. I, too, was a student, molested by a teacher...He was supposed to be the ADULT, in a role of leadership and trust. When I spoke out against him, the adult I confided in did not act on my behalf, which confused me even further, and made me feel that I was in the wrong. Only now in my adulthood, do I realize how incapacitated I was at the time- not only because of his actions, but because of the inaction of the adult that I told. I was a KID, and didn't know how to speak for myself. You, Qwerty, are a fortunate one if you have never walked in our shoes. How dare you act in judgement of us....
Posted by Correction, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 9:45 am
Just a minor technical/legal point: the article itself is correct when it states that Germain entered a "no contest" plea yesterday. The headline on the Town Forum topic, though, is incorrect that "Germain pleads guilty". Although the net effect is the same in the case, they are two different pleas in the legal sense, and good reporting would probably be prudent to clean that up.
Posted by someone in court, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 10:27 am
I was in court and the reporter and everyone else heard the judge say that even though he was entering a "No contest" plea it has to accepted as a "Guilty" plea and asked Mr. Germain if he understands that and he said he does. So the reporter was just printing what the judge had said.
Posted by EastSideOfTheBay, a resident of the Ponderosa neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 11:40 am
It's about time this guy gets put in prison. 2 Stikes? I would've given him 3 and locked him up for life.. Pedophiles don't deserve to be around children or even other citizens for that matter. And they absolutely deserve what they get once their in prison for being sex-offenders... Sorry Henry, Better hold on to that soap pretty tight.
As for all of you who claimed in the first press release that this was just another cry for help from young girls who were trying to get money and destroy a mans reputation, How do you feel now? From someone who knows two of the victims, comments like that are unnecessary and now after this article, they make you sound like an idiot. This man destroyed his own reputation and if you ask me, he should be locked up behind bars forever for the lives he tried to destroy.
Congratulations to all the victims in this case. Your strength and perseverance has finally paid off and you've succeeded in putting a child molester behind bars, unable to hurt another child again. I envy your strength and I admire your courage. The closure you've all deserved has finally come.
Posted by wwwww, a resident of another community, on Apr 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm
To the person who thinks thse girls should have "sat on it", you are an idiot. These were children who were taken advantage of by a monster and you yourself should never have such things done to you, but I pray you do and that yopu rot in hell.
Posted by Michelle, a resident of the Foxborough Estates neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm
I am so shocked and saddended by this. He absoluty deserves what he got and then some. I played tennis with Henry for years. I am fortunate and never had anything happen to me. I have moved out of state and just clued in to this story. My heart goes out to these girls and I truly mourn this situation!
Posted by Ken, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm
While I do not agree with Qwerty, I do believe our elite society and parents who will do anything to further their son/daughter's athletic career, is part of the problem here. Still, this coach had no right to do what he did to these young women. But...why would any parent let their daughter hang out at a 60 year old man's apartment? Travel to and from tennis tournaments alone with a 60 year old man? Where were the parents?
Not too long ago, there was a BUSC soccer coach with a known alcohol problem, known violations for DUI and drunk in public violations for which he served jail time, yet parents let their 11-13 year old boys "train" with him because he made them "better on the field". That is a true story! As long as parents hold coaches in such high esteem, this problem will not end. Sadly, it happens every day in this Pleasant town of ours. Ask yourself, do any of you bother to check the backgrounds of the paid soccer coaches affiliated with BUSC and/or Rage?
Posted by marie, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm
I am sure that parents felt he was safe as he had his own children. He had been a coach for years and there had never been any questions. If they were to run a background search on him nothing shows up. Because he quit the other job when things started to be questioned nothing showed up. Thanks to Castlewood for taking this to the sheriff when the ladies came forward. It would have been much easier for Castlewood to just let him go also..
Posted by Allison, a resident of another community, on Apr 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm
I played tennis with Henry for years, many years ago. As one of numerous victims, I was ready to give my statement for this case, to once more, confirm his guilt. As a mother, I am thankful he will be off the streets and away from children. And, thank you very much to those who stepped forward. My heart goes out to his children and to all of the victims.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Apr 29, 2009 at 8:49 pm
The real Cholo here. I DID NOT make the above comment.
Child molestation is a horrific crime. Thank you survivor's for having the courage to speak up. You have made it difficult for Henry to continue harming children; young people are safer because Henry will be behind bars for a very long time. Thank you.
Qwerty has always trashed me, it tickles me that the "Q" is busted! HOORAY!
BEST OF LUCK SURVIVORS AND THANK YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE!
Posted by Soccer AND Tennis Mom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm
OK!!!!!!! My kids took lessons with Henry, (thanfully they're not his type!) AND with the trainer/coach "Ken" is referring to. WOW! NOT a lot has to do with each other. Henry has been avoiding/hiding the truth for a long time. He is getting off easy because he doesn't want the ugliness that will be trial. I feel for his kids...But honestly, they're ultimately better off without him. Cut their losses and move on. I'm surprised his ex-wife hasn't done that. I know all of his kids and they are great and deserve more then this loser. We all believed in him....but right now, I think he got off easy. Does he? (hello "no contest")
On to "Ken's" detour of the soccer coach in which he speaks. Helllooo? There is someone in charge of hiring coaches (his "best friend") screening them. Why is he not held accountable?. I believe my child was training with the guy you speak of and I have to tell you first hand... (before you judge me negatively again) NONE of us knew anything negative about him while our kids were training. He was and is (although flawed) a fabulous COACH/TRAINER MENTOR/ THAT BROUGHT OUT THE BEST IN EACH CHILD AND NURTURED THEIR LOVE OF THE GAME. Upon the immediate notice of a problem...ALL training was stopped. I will add an unpopular note...One of the great things about "this coach" was that he didn't play favorites and truly focused on each child's ability and worked to make them a better soccer player. THAT was our experience.
That said.....I am counting on Henry Germain's prison-mates taking care of business!!!!!
Unfortunately, It became apparent he had some issues with the law/alcohol ( again see the man the hired him!) BUT HE WAS NOT A CHILD MOLESTOR AND HENRY IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Posted by reality check, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:22 am
Don't want to be the bubble buster here. But Henry will be placed in PC (protective custody) and the people that could harm him will not be able to get to him. He will be locked up with others like him. He will only be around pedophiles, snitches and ex-cops. It would be nice if they let street justice run its course, but the reality is they do not. Henry will never be on the yard at the same time as the general population. He will be safe amongst his peers and will be able to share experiances and techniques. So the monster will continue to grow. The one small piece of mind for a few of you is the general population still handles the meal preparations. Most all of his meals will be tainted and contaminated. It is the one way they can still "mess" with the perverts. He will get sick more often and his paranoia will be at full alert constantly. He won't feel comfortable for a while. Unfortunately, his wealthy friends will keep money on his books so he will continue to enjoy TV, snacks, CD's, books, phone calls, visits, etc...
Posted by sonja, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:28 am
Oh my God! Can you imagine some of the things they will be putting in his food. He loves to eat and had all the women in the community cooking for him. How ironic that he will never know what he is eating now and cannot enjoy his meals...at least not for the next 15 years and by then he will be on pureed food, being almost 80 years old, and I don't think he will find a whole lot of those women still running over with a homecooked meal. Poor Henry,,,,
Posted by Ken, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:35 am
This may be suited for another topic but Soccer Mom AND Tennis Mom wrote just what most parents in this town find most important and what some old school parents find so appalling. If a Coach "brings out the best and nurtures the love of the game" in your 12 year old, let's look beyond the flaws in his character and impressions on these developing minds. After all...isn't elite sports what's most important? It's no problem that this alcoholic soccer coach showed up to games, tournaments and practice drunk because MY SON IS A BETTER ATHLETE BECAUSE OF HIM. Did anyone ever think of the ramifications if this guy drove your athlete home while drunk and crashed? Parents in this town are really out of touch when it comes to their kids and elite level sports.
Posted by sonja, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 11:05 am
There are a lot of kids out there who are much better tennis players because of Henry Germain...but there are far more shattered lives because of Henry. And he has NEVER apologized to any of his victims or their families and he continues to swagger when he walks. His children will have to stand in line for hours with the families of murderers and rapists and drug dealers to be able to see their father behind glass and talk to him on a microphone...but, gosh darn, he sure made a lot of forehands and volleys better along the way!
Posted by Soccer AND Tennis Mom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 11:07 am
Please re-read my post. NO ONE that was training with this coach was aware of a problem. When we did, training stopped and he was fired. End of story. No one looked past his flaws, and I believe he is paying the consequences for his actions.
Posted by Maria, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 11:19 am
Sonja-I could not have said it better myself. We teach our children to beware of strangers but I know many parents who cozy up to coaches because they make their children better in sports which is what makes 10-15 year olds "popular". "Popular" kids = Popular parents! It would be nice if this story would make parents more aware that just because they are in an official capacity, doesn't mean they can be trusted.
Posted by Ken, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm
To Soccer AND Tennis Mom-This has strayed off subject but just to clarify, I have personal knowledge of parents of the children "partying" with this coach. Parents did know that his drinking was out of control that was witnessed after practices and at tournaments. He was a "cool" coach and made your children "better" and that's why his flaws were overlooked. Enough said.
Posted by san quentin, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm
reality check have you ever been to quentin? This fool is gonna get got real quick. He will be in pc but there are more than snitches and ex cops in pc. You got your og's who blooded out of there set that will take him out just to gain some respect from there gang they blooded out of. So know worries any main line or yard time he gets its gonna be nuthin nice. There will be a constent price on his head and he deserves life not 15 years.
Posted by uninformed, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 3:09 pm
To San Quentin: How will they know what he is in for unless he has it monogramed on his back? He certainly is not going to tell anyone. He can say he is in for tax evasion or tell them it was all blown out of proportion (like he told the few remaining friends he has), that he was trapped into confessing, etc. Are the guys in there too smart for that line????
Posted by Miley, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm
I took lessons from Henry when i was younger, he always made me very uncomfortable and said things that weren't acceptable. Looking back now I can realize why he was saying them and how his actions were also inapropriate. I am so glad that he is in jail, I only wish it were a life sentence.
Posted by uninformed, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm
For everyone who was told Henry was forced into this plea bargain, read about Keith Allen Porter online. He was offered a plea of 20 years for 2 offenses with a 12-year-old and he turned it down and it went to a jury trial. After one hour of deliberation he was given 160 years in prison. Henry took the easy way out...and a sentence far less than he deserves.
Posted by Enough Already, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm
Obviously this man struggles with mental illness. He is being punished for his crimes. I feel deeply saddened for his victims. That said can we stop publicly bashing this man and wishing death on him? He is the father of some wonderful children. They are victims also and we need to be compassionate and support them as well. Let's bite our tongues a bit here. It's not like writing these nasty things about him helps anyone anyway. Please think about these children of his. It's not about him anymore.
Posted by agree, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on May 1, 2009 at 7:59 am
Could not agree more! Henry is not worth the time to type a comment but his children are worth a lot. Let's be kind to them and try to understand what they are going through.Please.... Can this be the last email on the subject? Let everyone get on with their lives now and find happy moments to embrace.
Posted by DISAGREE!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 1, 2009 at 9:36 am
WRONG!.... We have to talk about it. We can't ever forget what this monster did. If we keep quiet, that just opens the door for another pedophile to harm our children. That makes people start to relax and "trust" people they shouldn't. Plus, new residents might not know the story, and send their kids off with "just any coach" that can teach them an overhand serve without the proper concerns. A number of children in THIS COMMUNITY were violated, and the response is 'lets not talk about it?' That doesn't make sense.
I know this was a horrible thing that happened. But we can not let it happen in vain. If we sweep it under the rug, it WILL happen again. Lets use Henry as an EXAMPLE that even close family friends can be predators. Lets use this as an example of...even powerful members of Pleasanton can be monsters behind closed doors. And most important, an example of don't be afraid to come forward, even if most people wont believe you. Our children need to know that we BELIEVE them and will do anything to protect them. Go back and read the post from when Henry was arrested. I wouldn't expect anyone to come forward if they are treated the way they were when this first happened. Almost every post on here was supporting Henry and the violated children were the ones being scrutinized. They finally fight for the truth and when it comes out, we are told to stop talking about it? I don't think so, not on my WATCH!
Posted by concerned, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm
Let's not forget that he has 3 wonderful kids that will no longer have their dad.They don't know the size of this right now. They know they won't have their dad. I know them and know that this is a horrific time for them and of course will be for the rest of their lives. They are putting on brave faces, but inside feel so much pain that it saddens us. As a friend I know that the children are receiving good counceling which helps. They stayed in this town because it is their home and didn't feel it was right to run, sending a bad messege to the kids. Please treat them well. Please also keep them in your prayers.
Posted by Sara, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on May 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm
DISAGREE!! - Let's be realistic here. Do you suggest to your children that your neighbor might be a sexual predator? How about their uncles? Or their friends' parents? If you don't, then you are being hypocritical.
By not bashing people like Mr. Germain who will have justice served as appropriate, that does not put a big sign up suggesting that Pleasanton is a safe haven for pedophiles.
This didn't happen in vain and no one is sweeping it under the rug, that is why Mr. Germain has appeared in court, where this should be handled. Discussions here, related to Mr. Germain, his family, or victims don't make anyone any better off.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on May 3, 2009 at 10:48 am
Can you PROVE that nobody is better off?
Wha-choo mean by better off? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...
henry will be checking into the roach hotel soon, thanks to the courage of some very brave young women. It is wonderful knowing that the survivor's stood up, told the truth and now henry will live out his life behind bars. That is where adults who sexually abuse children belong.
Thank you survivor's for speaking up and making the world a safer place for children.
Posted by James, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 4, 2009 at 10:43 am
to the posters sara and ken- i hope that you are actually voicing these opinions to friends and relatives who are more sane than you, and that they take the appropriate steps to report you to the proper authorities. neither of you should be in contact with children or young adults for their safety.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on May 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm
You got the wrong poster creepo...I have always supported survivors of sexual violence. As I recall, it was Qwerty that didn't believe the survivors and a few other club house goons!
After a few years in the Roach Hotel, henry is gonna think that his name is Miss Maybelle. Even if he is separated, the other molesters will jump his bones! They'll just pretend that he's a baby and jump him... hahahahahahahahahhahahahaha...don't drop the soap in the showers Miss Maybelle!
Posted by kweb, a resident of another community, on May 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm
I pray for the victims and truly hope that they have the smarts/guts/strength/support to heal and are able to move their lives successfully forward. I truly did not want to believe that Henry was guilty, but must accept that this is true. Cholo must be gloating somewhere.
However, personally, I will always be very grateful for Henry opening the doors to the game of tennis when I was 14. I believe that his children should know that, as horrible as this is - that their Dad had some very good qualities that many people will always remember and nothing will ever change that.
Good luck and move on!
from a Man in Michigan-who unfortunately is to busy for tennis anymore
Posted by Victim of Henry, a resident of the Pleasanton Village neighborhood, on May 24, 2009 at 10:56 am
I'm sorry and sad for all involved. Thanks to all the courageous women that came forward and exposed their shameful experience to the public. You are heroic! Being molested as a girl does not make logical sense until you grow into adult consciousness and realize what happened. Do not feel badly that you did not come forward sooner, you did your best. Unfortunately the CA statute law does not account for human's psychological development. Maybe some day this will change I hope. Sorry to all the girls that were just sick to their stomachs, because they were able to deflect his manipulative semantics. Last but not least sorry to Henry's innocent children that have to live in shame of their father's shadow. Henry indirectly hurt all whom loved him. Too bad Henry never felt the love, I believe this could have saved him if he were psychologically healthy. Sexual illness is so complex, and the most hurtful of all deceptive crimes. Henry, it is up to you to accept your illness and ask for help so you heal... Please do it for everyone; All of us that you hurt.