An Orange County girls' soccer coach pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl and was subsequently sentenced to 270 days in jail.
According to the Orange County Deputy District Attorney's Office, the 27-year-old coach pleaded guilty on Monday to 5 felony counts of charges related to sexual assault. In addition to facing 270 days in jail, the man is facing 5 years of formal probation and will face sex offender registration.
The soccer coach was initially arrested in March after the girl's parents discovered communication between their daughter and the coach that indicated an "inappropriate sexual relationship." Sheriff's officials believe that the relationship started in February. The coach was arrested and held on $100,000 bail at the Orange County Central Men's Jail. Details regarding the girl's age at the time of their relationship have not been released.
Coaches, teachers, counselors, and others who work with children on a regular basis may be in danger of facing allegations and even criminal charges for sexual assault or other inappropriate conduct - even in cases when they have done nothing wrong. These are highly sensitive matters that can quickly escalate into formal charges and convictions, due to political pressure and media attention.
Though the defendant in the case above chose to plead guilty to the alleged acts of sexual assault against one of his players, coaches and others may be wrongfully accused of a number of reasons. Innocent communication and contact can be misconstrued as inappropriate, or a parent or student may make accusations for reasons of anger, revenge or even jealousy. Such allegations have the potential to ruin the accused's life.
In addition to facing immediate suspension and possible termination, a coach or teacher who is accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with a child in their care may face a permanently damaged reputation, difficulty finding future employment and serious financial problems. Personal relationships may also be adversely affected, even if the charges are eventually cleared. The steps that one takes in the immediate aftermath of sexual assault allegations are therefore of the utmost importance.
Early involvement of a criminal defense lawyer is one's best chance of avoiding the damaging repercussions of sexual abuse accusations, even if formal charges have not yet been filed. If you have been wrongfully accused of any type of sex crime, you need to move quickly and involve an attorney who can protect your rights both inside and outside of the courtroom. A pre-file investigation may even help you avoid formal charges in the first place.
The approach taken to challenge sexual abuse allegations will vary depending on the unique case, and at The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we have the diverse experience with these cases to offer tailor-made, aggressive defense strategies. Call our Orange County law offices today to discuss your case and how we can help you.