A state appeals court panel Thursday upheld a former coach’s conviction for lewd acts with seven girls while he worked at after-school programs at elementary schools in Los Angeles and Hollywood.
Ronnie Lee Roman of San Fernando — who is serving a 105-year-to-life term in state prison — was convicted last June of seven counts of lewd acts with a child.
Six of the crimes, which dated back to 2002, occurred on school grounds, while one happened at a girl’s home, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The girls ranged in age from 8 to 11.
The downtown Los Angeles jury was the second to hear the case against Roman, who had worked as a coach for after-school programs at Cahuenga Elementary School in Los Angeles and Vine Elementary School in Hollywood.
The first jury acquitted him of three counts of lewd acts on a child involving three other girls, but deadlocked on the remaining counts in February 2017.
In a 14-page ruling, the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that jurors in his retrial should have been allowed to hear about the outcome of his first trial.
The appellate court justices found that “the evidence of the acquittal was not relevant to rebut any admitted evidence” in Roman’s retrial and that evidence about the jury’s deadlock on the other counts in the first trial was also “irrelevant and properly excluded.”
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