Sports

Former President of U.S.A. Softball Accused of Abusing Minors

The former president of U.S.A. Softball, John Gouveia, was arrested in April and charged with a number of sex acts with minors.

Gouveia, 61, was arrested on April 14 for eight felony counts of lewd acts with a child under 14. He was held on $250,000 bail, but arranged for a bond and was released the same day, the Sacramento County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday.

According to the charging documents, the eight counts refer to crimes committed between 2015 and 2021, with multiple children under 14.

Gouveia’s lawyer, Jason R. Holley, declined to comment. Gouveia’s next court date is Aug. 11.

Gouveia worked in multiple roles for the national softball federation for nearly 30 years, from 1991 to 2019, and had been the organization’s president. The sheriff’s office said the accusations against Gouveia were not associated with U.S.A. Softball.

U.S.A. Softball said in a statement on Tuesday night that its officials did not have any independent knowledge of the allegations, and learned about them through news reports. The organization added that it would report the allegations to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and to Sacramento County Child Protective Services.

“The alleged conduct is contrary to and not aligned with U.S.A. Softball’s mission and core values, which include developing and administering the sport while providing the best possible experience for all those involved with the game of softball,” the organization said in the statement.

Gouveia also worked with the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District for 25 years, which manages dozens of parks in Hayward, Calif. He retired as its general manager in 2016, but the sheriff’s office said the arrest was not associated with the recreation center.

The news comes as U.S. softball begins to compete in the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Ala., beginning Saturday.

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