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Former coach pleads no contest to child molestation charges

 

A former baseball coach pleaded no contest Tuesday to child molestation and sexual assault charges stemming from an investigation that began after he was found engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old boy, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Julio Edgardo Ortiz, 37, of Menlo Park was arrested in September 2016 after a California Highway Patrol officer found him at Vista Point No. 3 on Interstate Highway 280.

Mr. Ortiz and the victim were in a parked car with the engine running.

Investigators say Mr. Ortiz met the victim two years earlier when he was coaching baseball at a Redwood City elementary school.

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, they said.

After the arrest, four more victims came forward eventually, including a woman who was assaulted when she brought her child to school for a parent-teacher conference.

"She got there early so she was just taking a walk on the field, so he came up and grabbed her and shoved his hand down her pants," District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

"You don't see that much, where there's assault of a child as well as an adult," Mr. Wagstaffe said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Ortiz pleaded no contest to continuous sexual molestation, lewd acts on a child by force or fear, lewd acts on a child 10 years younger than the defendant, lewd acts on a child under 14, contacting a minor to request child pornography, and digital sexual penetration of an adult woman by force or fear.

He faces 50 years in prison when he returns to court for sentencing on March 2. He remains in custody on $4 million bail.

Defense attorney Monica Toole could not immediately be reached for comment on Mr. Ortiz's behalf.

— Bay City News Service

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