A former high school girls' basketball coach pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he engaged in sex acts with one of his players when she was 14.
Keith Lamont Cash, 28, is out of custody and appeared in court with his attorney, Kyle J. Humphrey, and several family members. Judge Jerold L. Turner set Cash's next court date for Sept. 11 during the formal arraignment, which lasted roughly two minutes.
Also, a protective order was issued barring Cash from having any contact with the alleged victim.
Afterward, Humphrey said Cash, like all his clients, is an "underdog" and he believes a jury should hear the facts and decide whether he's guilty rather than him being lambasted by the public based on the government's allegations.
"With the #MeToo movement and the upside down way of the world we presume guilt now," he said.
The attorney said he would never accuse an alleged victim of lying, but said sometimes people are "mistaken or over-excited" and what's recalled isn't always what happened. It's necessary to have an open mind, he said.
The charges against Cash stem from an accusation he had a sexual relationship with a teen he coached in 2011. He was employed by the Kern High School District as a coach for Ridgeview High School and Stockdale High School from 2011 to 2017.
Police arrested Cash after the alleged victim, now an adult, went to Bakersfield Police Department headquarters in early July and said she kissed and engaged in sex acts with him at multiple locations on a high school campus, including a training room, weight room and the shower area of the boys' locker room, according to court documents.
Her family later moved away and she eventually cut off contact with Cash, she said in the documents.
The woman cooperated with police in making a recorded phone call to Cash to get him to admit to the illicit relationship. During the call, the woman presses Cash for an answer as to whether he loved her. She tells him she's loved him since she was 14.
Cash at first avoids giving an answer, according to a transcript of the call contained in the documents, but after she repeatedly asks he says "yes" and tells her he risked his career and livelihood for her and could have gone to jail.