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Excerpts from press conference with Utah coach cleared of sexually abusing teen
The following are excerpts from Steve Dale Green's press conference Wednesday evening at his attorney's office.
Charges against the Bountiful man — that he had been having sex with a teenager he coached in soccer — were dropped Tuesday due to insufficient evidence. At the press conference, Green described his reaction to the dismissal and his problems with both his accuser's story and the system that could have landed him in prison.
Not every question the reporters asked, and Green's answer to those questions, is listed below.
Q » So you're arrested, you think about the things you've done in your life, all the parking tickets, speeding tickets — so what are you saying to yourself? And then tell me what it's like when they read the charges to you.
Green » Well, they didn't read the charges to me.
Q » Well when you found out.
Green » When we were driving — well first of all, they put me, this is kind of interesting detail in the case, but they put me in the front of the squad car. I remember this very plainly. I asked the arresting officer you sure you don't want me in back, and he said in his exact words, "You're a big boy, you'll never fit in the back." So they put me in the front of the car. On his little sticky note by his gear selector was a note that said lewdness and it had what appeared to be some code next to it, indicating where it was in the statutes. And so instantly your mind is racing you know, I couldn't think of anything. There's a statement in Chevy Chase's "Christmas Vacation" when he says, you know, Cousin Eddie drives up in the RV and he says Clark are you surprised, and he says "Cousin Eddie, if I had my woke up in the morning with my face sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now." And that kind of explains it. I had no idea what was going on.
Q » Was there ever a time, you know that sort of quiet moment, when you're just there with your wife and she just says, did you do it? I mean, was there ever any doubt in her mind? Did she ever ask you that question?
Green » At the very beginning. And when I told her who I suspected the accuser was, that switched off. In the last couple of months, especially since just before Christmas when I initially thought that we were going to get the dismissal, it didn't happen, about that time — and that time on — it was not so much you know, "Did you do this?" but "Are they going to put you away regardless?" It seemed like there was an honest intent to get a conviction come hell or high water. The reason I say that is we had presented quite a mountain of exculpatory evidence, dates that she had quoted that were, I wasn't even in the state. Some of the statements that she made in that preliminary hearing were so outrageous that I couldn't believe people were taking them seriously.
We talked about the squad car and being in the front seat of the car, she actually claimed that the first incident was in the backseat of my car, which is interesting because it was a BMW 3 series so it was much smaller than the squad car that they wouldn't put me in the back of. You know, and she made claim that this occurred up at the [large B above Bountiful] during January, and so you know you just have to put two and two together. Did I four-wheel drive my BMW in two feet of snow, up to the B in Bountiful, in a car I don't even fit in the backseat, to have something like this happen?
The case was littered with things like that. And yet, it didn't seem like anybody was standing up and saying this doesn't make sense. And it just seemed like, you know I passed the polygraph test, we had countless witnesses that she claimed had knowledge of this. We ended up hiring my own investigator to go talk to those witnesses. The witnesses contradicted everything that she had said to them. We turned those over to the state. At that time, they deployed their investigator to verify that our investigator did their work properly, and they knew that those witnesses were contradicting her statements. But yet it kept going on and on and on and on. I even went down and volunteered, went to the crime lab, disrobed and let them take pictures of anatomy. You know, she made some claims about some anomalies that were supposedly there that were not there, however was unable to claim some of the anomalies that are there. She was way off. And yet it dragged on and dragged on, and four, five, six PTCs — pre-trial conferences — it just seemed like hell or high water, there was going to be a conviction. So rather than "Honey, did you do this?" it was more of a "Honey, when they put you away, how are we going to survive?"
Q » Your legal defense has to be, I don't know, how expensive it is. You've lost your job. How are you guys doing?
Green » Luckily, we're certainly not well off, but we make a decent living. And we were fortunate enough to have some savings to put away to help us with that. We also had friends and family contribute. One thing that became perfectly clear, to kind of go back to the justice system, if I was not in a position to pay bail, to pay for my own polygraph test, to hire my own private investigator, to get legal counsel, I would have ended up never getting out of that jail, the police never would have followed up on the investigation, the leads that our investigator gave them, I would have been with an overworked, over-stressed, underpaid public defender, and I can almost guarantee that at this point I would be in prison. That's really the thing that I wanted to get out there is I can almost guarantee there are dozens and dozens of people sitting right now, down in penitentiary because they simply didn't have the resources to defend themselves. That's really the main reason I wanted to talk to you guys.