Vista Murrieta student Kishawn Tre Holmes thrived under the attention and spotlight as a star football player and potential college recruit. Holmes is still getting the attention and spotlight, only now it’s for what he is alleged to have done off the field.
Holmes is charged with raping two different girls through the use of force or fear, performing lewd acts on a third girl under the age of 14, trying to dissuade one of his alleged rape victims from speaking to authorities, and three counts of false imprisonment involving three other girls.
Emotions ran high as Holmes appeared in Riverside County juvenile court for a detention hearing on Tuesday, September 17. Tuesday’s detention hearing was open to the public and media showed up in force: Channel 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 11 were represented as well as local media. The hearing was quickly closed by the judge at the request of the victims’ families for confidentiality reasons. There were six victims.
According to John Hall, Senior Public Information Specialist with the District Attorney’s office, “The judge ordered him [Holmes] to remain in juvenile detention until his next court appearance on October 30th.”
Outside the courthouse, families of the victims declined to speak to media, but friends of Holmes were more than willing to talk.
Brandon Rogers, 18, graduated from Vista Murrieta last year and played on the football team with Holmes. “This was shocking, came out of nowhere. Kishawn’s a football star, could pretty much go to any school he wants to. I haven’t talked to him since Wednesday and we talk pretty much everyday. We thought this was an open-and-shut case . . . now even if everything works out in his favor, his name is already bad. How’s he supposed to focus on school?”
Another ex-teammate, AJ Williams, 18, said, “He’s a great football player. None of this is true. If you know the types of girls out here; they target him because he’s a star football player. They’re mad because Kishawn was not giving them the attention.”
Michael Crawford, 18, admitted to being on the fence about the case. “I cannot lie; I didn’t know who did what and I came here, not as a supporter, but to find out the truth. Kishawn and Byron are my friends and if I had to say, I would have to say I don’t believe they (the allegations) are true. They’re innocent.”
At that point, a father of one of the victims passing by the interview angrily exploded. “Do you have a daughter?” he screamed as family members were restraining him. Sheriff’s deputies quickly escorted the family out as media surrounded them following them through the parking lot. “They should lock him up,” exclaimed the girl’s mother, “and throw away the key!”
The 5’8”, 180 pound all-purpose running back had shown great promise. Holmes transferred to Vista Murrieta from Hemet West Valley where he gained 1275 yards on 132 carries as a sophomore. In his junior year at Vista Murrieta, Holmes rushed for over 1200 yards and eleven touchdowns on 129 carries, helping his team to the CIF Championship game. Holmes was a Rivals.com California Preseason Top 100 recruit (three star). According to ESPN Recruiting Nation Football, he had one offer from Oklahoma State (spring 2013). Holmes had been talking with UCLA, San Jose State, Washington, SDSU, Colorado and Texas, among others.
Recruiting sites show interest from many schools has cooled dramatically. Holmes has been removed from the Vista Murrieta football roster (Maxpreps.com) and his game video and stats (hudl) have been taken down. The attention and spotlight on him as a football star has waned as the attention and spotlight on him as an alleged sex offender has grown.
“Our standard with this and all cases is that we’re not going to file charges unless we believe them to be true and we believe the person is guilty,” said Hall, “All the evidence we have, evidence gathered by the Murrieta Police Department, leads us to believe we have enough to convict in adult court or juvenile court.” Hall said the judge has yet to rule on whether Holmes will be tried as an adult. This could be determined at the October 30th hearing and if this hearing was any indication, the media attention and spotlight will be there, too.