A former basketball coach in Southern California was delivered a 150-year sentence in prison on Wednesday after being convicted of sexually assaulting four girls more than ten years ago.
Carlos Francisco Juarez, 48, was found guilty of 21 different felony counts in July for the assaults of minors between 2005 to 2010, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. The girls were between 11 and 17 years old when the assaults took place, per NBC News.
Spitzer said Juarez was “in a position of trust and authority over these young girls and he took advantage of them,” adding that “[y]outh sports should be a safe environment where neither parents nor athletes should have to worry about children being targeted by a sexual predator.”
Spitzer subsequently praised the four women for coming forward for their bravery in helping lock up “another child molester.”
The report said that the youngest of Juarez’s victims, 11 years old at the time, was taking private lessons from Juarez at a gym in Tustin in 2005. He apparently forced the girl to practice topless. She testified that Juarez handed her an envelope fully of money after he sexually assaulted her.
A second girl, who was 13 years old at the time, was apparently subjected to numerous instances of sexual assault by Juarez after he moved into her home. The abuse continued for four years.
Spitzer’s officer said that the 13-year-old female basketball player was told to perform sex acts on Juarez in exchange for becoming a starter on the team.
Juarez also sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl who was taking basketball lessons from him in 2008.
Juarez was found guilty of 10 counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old; 7 counts of lewd acts upon a child; 2 counts of oral copulation of a minor; and 2 counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor, per CBS News.
While Juarez primarily worked as a club basketball coach, he did work at different high schools in the area. Two of the main schools were Costa Mesa and Tustin, according to the district attorney’s office.
Kenneth Reed, Juarez’s attorney, reportedly said he was prepared to file an appeal following the conviction.
There have been several major cases of sports coaches and athletic experts being accused or found guilty of sexual assault against children. Larry Nassar, who was previously employed by Michigan State University, was accused by 150 women of sexual assault. He was eventually arrested in 2016.
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