There was something about Melvin Flemings that seemed off.
The 28-year-old California man had approached a high school teen, saying that he was a basketball coach, and offered the young man basketball lessons at a private training center, Evolution Basketball. But Flemings seemed suspicious to the parent of the Mount Eden High School teen.
According to Sacramento, Calif.-area Fox affiliate KTXL-TV, after speaking with Flemings, who identified himself at the time as Melvin Allen, the parent searched for the self-proclaimed coach on the internet. He found out his real name—and that he was a registered sex offender.
Police arrested and booked Flemings this past Sunday on charges of failing to notify people of his sex-offender-registration status. As it turns out, Flemings doesn’t appear to be a basketball coach at all.
The Hayward, Calif., Police Department confirmed that Flemings is not an employee of Mount Eden High School or the Hayward Unified School District. And the owner of Evolution Basketball, the gym where Flemings offered to give private basketball lessons, says he has never heard of a Melvin Flemings or a Melvin Allen.
As the East Bay Times reports, Flemings was arrested previously for annoying and/or molesting children, violating his parole, and sending or selling obscene material to a minor. In November 2011, he was convicted in Sacramento County of employing, coercing or using a minor in the production of obscene material. Authorities say that Flemings met his victims, who were under age 16, through coaching activities. He was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.
But in the summer of last year, Flemings ran a similar scam in Roseville. According to KCRA, he was arrested in July 2017 for sending “inappropriate texts” to some of the children he was coaching for private basketball lessons.
The news of Flemings’ arrest comes at a time of heightened awareness about sexual abuse and sexual misconduct in sports. The trial of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar dominated headlines this month with the stomach-turning revelations that he had molested over 150 girls and young women over the course of his career. Michigan State, where Nassar was employed as a sports medicine physician, has been embroiled in scandals following multiple allegations that the university mishandled or obstructed sexual assault cases in multiple sports programs, including men’s football and basketball.
Hayward police believe that Flemings may have contacted other minors with offers of basketball lessons, and are asking people who have had contact with him to come forward.