DALLAS – A man who called himself a mentor to young boys is in the Dallas County Jail, accused of sexually abusing some of those children.
Ernest Green, 61, was booked into the jail Wednesday night on two counts of indecency with a child and one count of sexual abuse of a child under 14.
He is now being held on $150,000 bail. He declined a jail interview request.
An investigation began Aug. 2, reporting that Green had sexually molested her three teenage boys. All three boys had been members of United Youth Core, a mentoring program that Green operated out of his West Dallas apartment.
A tactical team raided Green’s apartment at Lakeview Townhomes in the 3000 block of Bickers Street about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, serving a search warrant. Among the items confiscated by police was computer equipment. News 8 was the only media outlet there as police continued the search.
“He would have kids over to his house all the time,” said Raynette Coakley, a neighbor. “He said he was trying to be a mentor to the kids, and that he was trying to be a positive role model to the kids, because some of them don’t have dads. Some of them don’t have a parent in their life that’s positive.”
Coakley and other neighbors say boys were constantly in and out of his apartment.
“It was something positive he was doing, so I didn’t think nothing of it,” Coakley said.
Green operated a program that he called United Youth Core. All of the boys filled out a membership form to join the program. The boys told police they would have weekly meetings and that he would take them to places like Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, and Chuck E. Cheese. Some of the boys said he bought them tennis shoes and let them play in his apartment overnight.
The boys said they routinely slept in Green’s bedroom, particularly during the summer months. Each of them described incidents in which they say he fondled them.
Most of the alleged incidents occurred while the boys were sleeping in Green’s bed.
Another neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said she knew something wasn’t right.
“I found it very strange and odd for the boys to be going in and out of his house,” she said.
In one case last year, the neighbor said one of the boys stayed over there night after night. She said she and another neighbor approached the mother with their concerns.
She said another boy told her that on one occasion, he felt very sleepy at Green’s apartment and thought he might have been drugged. She said the boy said he saw Green masturbating.
The police documents detail the alleged instances of abuse.
The eldest brother, now 16, said he was 11 when he met Green in 2010. He said Green told him, “the program had been around for many years and that many kids had been involved in it.” He said he began going over to Green’s house, along with several other boys.
He said Green fondled him from the time he was 11 until he was 13.
He said Green would got mad if they didn’t sleep in his room with him. He said he and the other boys were particularly afraid to sleep in “the spot” — next to Green in his king-sized bed. He says they knew if they slept there that “Green would fondle or attempt to fondle them.”
The boy told police that Green fondled him and masturbated him on several occasions. He also told police that one night, while he was laying in “the spot,” Green attempted to have sex with him, but the boy got up and slept in the living room. He said he told Green not to touch him again or he would tell his mom. He said Green continued to buy him things because he feared he would tell his mother.
The boy also told police he witnessed the same type of abuse with many other boys sleeping at Green’s apartment.
He said, one time, he witnessed Green fondling one of his younger brothers. He said he woke his brother up, took him out of the room, and called his mother. He said Green told his mother that the boy had been dreaming.
Another of the brothers told police that Green molested him during the summer of 2014. He said one night, he was sleeping at Green’s house in his bed, when he awoke to find Green touching him.
“The complainant stated that he was afraid to say anything so he allowed the suspect to continue to touch him on his genitals,” the records state. “The complainant stated the next day when he woke up, he avoided looking at the suspect or talking to him.”
He also described another incident that occurred while they were in the car.
The boy said Green touched him on his genitals. He said he told Green that he didn’t like him touching him.
“The complainant stated the suspect just laughed at him,” the records state. “The complainant stated the suspect never touched him again after this incident.”
One of the brothers described an alleged incident that occurred this past May.
The boy, who said he’d been a member of the program for four years, said he was sleeping in Green’s bed and awoke to find him touching him.
“The defendant quickly withdrew his hand once he realized the complainant was awake,” records state. “Complainant did not make an immediate outcry as he was ‘scared’ to do so.”
His brother and other boy told police that they saw Green touching the teen on at least one occasion. It was unclear if it was same incident described by the teen.
Green denied having sexually abused the boys in a call secretly recorded by police, according to the records.
According to the Facebook page for Green’s program, he founded the program 1976. The Facebook page features dozens of photos of children including a number of photos of boys playing video games inside Green’s apartment.
On that page, Green wrote that he was committed to helping children reach “their potential through one-on-one relationship with a member.” The page also sought donors to help run the program.
“The children in our program have faced many difficulties in their young lives,” he wrote. “You can offer them the strength, the help and encouragement they need to develop and grow. You can help change their life’s [sic] forever.”
According to state prison records, Green was sentenced to 24 years in prison for felony theft in 2002. He was released on parole in 2006 and is on parole until 2027.
The Dallas Housing Authority operates the complex.
MaryAnn Russ, the head of DHA, said Friday that Green’s program was neither “endorsed nor approved.”
“When we did our criminal record check before Mr. Green was admitted, he was not listed on the State Sexual Predatory registry nor did he have any arrests or convictions for violent, drug-related or sex-related crimes,” Russ said. “This is all very recent and Mr. Green was immediately served with a notice to vacate his apartment following his arrest.”
A 16-year-old who was a member of the program several years ago says Green would buy shoes and clothes for the kids and take them on trips.
He said Green never molested him.
“I didn’t think he would do something like that,” the teenager said.
The neighbor who didn’t want her name used said Green abused the trust of the children he said he was there to help.
“It’s like, who do we trust now?” the neighbor said. “The kids are supposed to trust adults. He shouldn’t have done that, if he really loved the kids.”