UPDATE (1/28 4:36 p.m.) — Norman’s lawyer spoke with WKRG Friday, saying his client is innocent of these charges.

His lawyer, Billy C. Bedsole, says Norman never coached the girl involved in the indictment. Bedsole says his issue is this happened as a secret indictment and he was unable to argue the case in front of the grand jury.

“If we have to go to court, we’re going to prove this all untrue, and it’s just a disaster to him at this present time. I think it’s completely unfair that you can just indict someone with a secret indictment. Not even giving the opportunity to present their side of it,” said Bedsole.

We reached out to the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office. They say a child sex case is typically a secret indictment. They explained secret indictments stem from investigations, detectives will present the case to a grand jury once they feel they have enough probable cause and the grand jury will decide if they’re indicted.

MOBILE, Ala, (WKRG) — A man in the Semmes community who used to coach local softball has been arrested and indicted for sexual abuse of a minor, according to court documents from the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama. WKRG News 5 spoke with a leader in Semmes softball who explained steps their organization takes to keep players safe.

Norman allegedly had sexual contact with a child under the age of 12, according to the indictment, which was dated Dec. 10, 2021. The indictment shows his bond was set at $20,000.

Thomas Harold Norman has coached softball at Semmes Girls Softball Park (SGSP) and more recently coached travel-ball teams around the area, according to previous board members at SGSP.

Ben Posey has been president of the board of the Semmes Girls Softball Association for almost two years. He told WKRG News 5 he can’t find any record of Norman coaching with the program, but he had talked to people who said Norman coached nearly a decade ago.

“Safety of our players is paramount for us here,” Posey said. “All of our coaches are required to submit to an extensive background check.”

Posey said it’s not just coaches who get screened for player safety.

“Anyone who gets on the field with players must pass a background check,” Posey said.

Posey is also concerned about the future of the program. Semmes Girls Softball is mostly funded through registrations and sponsorships, Posey said. They’re registering players right now. When registrations drop, that hurts the program, and registration is already down due to COVID.