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SoCalHoops Jurisprudence News

Russell Otis Trial Underway in
LA Superior Court--(Apr. 4, 2001)

Russel Otis, the 38-year old former Compton Dominguez coach is currently in trial in Compton on felony counts of forcible sodomy, simple sodomy and oral copulation with a 17-year old former player.  He also faces a single misdemeanor count of child molestation.  Jury selection was completed yesterday, and opening statements were made today.  The jury consists of nine women and three men. According to an account in the Long Beach Press Telegram, which is providing daily coverage of the trial, "The jury is fairly diverse with seven African Americans, four whites and one Hispanic. Among the jurors is a 29-year veteran elementary school teacher, a social worker, an IRS collections employee and a juror whose son is on death row for murder." Three women were also sworn in as alternates.  The prosecutor is Deputy District Attorney Diana Martinez, while Otis is represented by criminal defense attorney Leonard Levine.  Trial will run each day from 10-10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.   We'll have an update from the trial later in the week.

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