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Menlo Park man faces more charges of sex acts with minors

He coached at local elementary schools

Authorities have filed more charges of sexual activity with minors against Menlo Park resident Julio Edgardo Ortiz, a former basketball coach at local elementary schools.

Mr. Ortiz coached at Selby Lane School in Atherton and Clifford School in Redwood City, deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said. He also volunteered as a coach for the Sheriff's Activities League, deputies said.

Prosecutors initially charged Mr. Ortiz with 16 counts of illicit contact, but when two more boys came forward, prosecutors increased the charges to 25 counts, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

When another boy recently reported illicit contact with Mr. Ortiz, San Mateo County prosecutors on Monday, Nov. 21, charged him with a total of 35 sex acts with four minors with whom he had regular access, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The new charges include three counts in which Mr. Ortiz used force or the threat of force, prosecutors said.

The court assigned Mr. Ortiz an attorney from the county's private defender program and set his bail at $4 million, prosecutors said. A sentence of life in prison is now a possibility for Mr. Ortiz, Mr. Wagstaffe said.

Mr. Ortiz, who is 36, had been in jail on a bail of $1.5 million, but prosecutors requested that the case be dismissed so they could consolidate the charges for all four boys into one case, Ms. Guidotti said.

His next scheduled appearance in court is 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, to enter a plea and set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Mr. Ortiz was originally arrested late one night in September 2015 at a rest stop overlooking Interstate 280 in an incident involving a 14-year-old boy. Two California Highway Patrol officers on patrol entered the rest stop and were checking out a vehicle when they observed the alleged sexual activities, deputies from the Sheriff's Office said.

The charges in that incident include misdemeanor drunken driving and driving on a suspended license, prosecutors said.

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Dave Boyce

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