An extraordinary scene unfolded in a Prince William County courtroom Thursday when a man confronted the T-ball coach who pleaded guilty to molesting him more than three decades ago.
Dennis Reed Dyer, 58, was sentenced to five years probation for an incident that occurred in 1978. He pleaded guilty to entering the bedroom of a 6-year-old player whose parents he'd befriended and inappropriately touching him.
That little boy called Robbie is now a man known as Rob, but he held a picture of his 6-year-old self as he stepped onto the witness stand. He said he threw off years of shame and fear and denial. He looked right at Dyer and said, "You did not win, and I am here to protect other children from you."
"I wanted him to be placed on the sexual offender list for what he did," Rob said. “It wasn’t about me… I have a lot of friends and I see a lot of their pictures of their children, and to me, protecting them is a very important thing.”
He said he spoke because he wants to encourage both child and adult victims to know they don't have to be afraid.
“It’s just very important to come out and protect today’s child, even from past predators, because they’re still around and the still do what they do, and if somebody doesn’t speak up, then they can continue to do what they do.”
Dyer apologized in court, saying he made serious mistakes.
Prosecutors pointed out he had a 1985 conviction for a sex offense, but that was before the sex offender registry was created. The only way to get him on the registry was for Rob to step forward.
In addition to being placed on the sex offender registry, Dyer also is required to undergo counseling for sex offenders.