A former Southern California basketball coach was sentenced to 150 years in prison on Wednesday in the sexual assaults of four girls he coached more than a decade ago.
Carlos Francisco Juarez, 48, was convicted of 10 felony counts in July for assaults that occurred between 2005 and 2010, according to a statement from the office of Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. The girls ranged in age from 11 to 17 years old at the time of the assaults.
“This coach was in a position of trust and authority over these young girls and he took advantage of them,” Spitzer said. “Youth sports should be a safe environment where neither parents nor athletes should have to worry about children being targeted by a sexual predator.”
Spitzer commended the four women who came forward, praising their bravery for helping put “another child molester” in prison.
The youngest victim was taking private lessons from Juarez at a gym in Tustin in 2005, where he made her practice topless, the prosecutor’s office said. She also testified that he handed her an envelope of money after sexually assaulting her.
A different 13-year-old girl was subjected to repeated sexual abuse from Juarez over the course of four years after he moved in to her home.
According to the district attorney’s office, Juarez forced a different 13-year-old basketball player to perform a sex act on him in exchange for the promise of becoming a starter.
The fourth victim in the case was 14-years-old and taking basketball lessons from Juarez in 2008, when he also assaulted her.
Juarez was found guilty on seven felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and two felony counts each of oral copulation of a minor under the age of 16 and sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor.
He worked primarily as a club coach but also worked at different high schools in the area, including schools in Costa Mesa and Tustin, according to the district attorney’s office.
Juarez’s attorney, Kenneth Reed, was not immediately available for comment on the sentencing. Reed said he planned to file an appeal following the conviction, according to the Orange County Register.