COLUMBIA (WACH / AP) ?? A former youth basketball coach spending 35 years in prison for molesting more than a dozen boys was denied parole Wednesday.
The 56-year-old Chuck Sullivan was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty in 1998 to 32 charges. Prosecutors say he fondled, molested and took pornographic pictures of children between the ages of 10 and 16 for about 20 years starting in the mid-1970s.
The families of victims and former 5th Circuit Solicitor Barney Geise spoke to the parole board after hearing Sullivan's plea for parole.
"The children that came forward had tremendous courage to come forward," said Geise. "It's a very difficult thing to do, and I believe those children stopped this man's assault on our community."
Geise says the similarities in the Sullivan and Jerry Sandusky cases are erie. Sullivan is a former coach who taught at Cardinal Newman High School and St. Joseph's Catholic School and volunteered to work with children. He was active in youth sporting leagues.
The victims talked about the daily impact Sullivan's crimes have left on their families more than 10 years later.
The parole board quickly denied Sullivan's request. There will be another hearing next year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story)