In a chilling verdict, an Orange County basketball coach, Carlos Francisco Juarez, 48, has been condemned to serve 150 years to life in prison for the vile acts he committed against the very girls he was supposed to mentor and coach.
This disturbing case sheds light on the vulnerability of young athletes and the importance of keeping our children safe from predators, even in places we might consider safe.
A detailed account of the charges reveals the gravity of Juarez’s crimes. He was found guilty of “10 felony counts of a lewd act upon a child under 14, seven felony counts of lewd act upon a child, two felony counts of oral copulation of a minor under the age of 16, and two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor,” as per the records from the O.C. District Attorney’s Office.
This predator’s initial arrest dates back to April 2019, and a jury verdict in July 2023 ensured justice for the victims.
The victims, aged between 11 and 14, had to suffer Juarez’s heinous crimes between 2005 and 2010. This man worked across various institutions, including club basketball teams like SoCal Swoosh and O.C. Mustangs.
He also had associations with Aliso Niguel, Costa Mesa, Mater Dei, and Tustin high schools, which raises further questions about the oversight and checks in place in these institutions.
One particularly disturbing account from 2005 involves an 11-year-old girl taking private lessons from Juarez. In a shocking misuse of his position, he allegedly had the child “practice topless after he initially sought to have her remove all her clothing,” according to court documentation.
The ordeal didn’t end there; he then allegedly assaulted the child, only to hand her money after the act.
Other horrifying accounts include Juarez moving into a home with a 13-year-old girl, where he continually abused her for over four years.
His reign of terror also encompassed sexually assaulting a 14-year-old during private basketball lessons and manipulating a 13-year-old with the promise of elevating her to a starter position, only to force her into a sexual act.
The District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, provided a poignant statement, saying, “This coach was in a position of trust and authority over these young girls and he took advantage of them.”
He went on to emphasize the sanctity of youth sports, stating, “Youth sports should be a safe environment where neither parents nor athletes should have to worry about children being targeted by a sexual predator.”
Thanks to the courage of the young victims, this monster is behind bars and can no longer threaten the innocence of other children.
This tragic case serves as a wakeup call, emphasizing the need for stringent background checks and better monitoring in all institutions that deal with young, vulnerable individuals.
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