Youth coach admits rape of player, 14

GOLD HILL — A Little League softball coach has pleaded guilty to one count of rape stemming from incidents involving a 14-year-old girl on his team.

Eric Robert Sell, 31, of the 1100 block of Sierra Vista Way, Central Point, pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree rape — a felony defined under Oregon law as sexual contact with a person who is too young to give consent.

Sell met the girl while coaching the Gold Valley National Little League team in Gold Hill, police said. The girl told investigators that she and Sell had sexual contact several times in June and July, Medford police Sgt. Phil Eastman said at the time of Sell's arrest.

Eastman said the police became aware of the case in mid-July as officers investigated an unrelated complaint involving Sell and the girl's mother.

Sell was originally charged with three counts of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sex abuse. He entered the single guilty plea Wednesday morning before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain.

Sell will have to register as a sex offender, said prosecutor Terry Smith-Norton. A pre-sentencing investigation is ongoing. Sell likely will hear his sentence in four to six weeks, Smith-Norton said.

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