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Former Coach Gets Year in Jail for Having Sex With Student, 14

Prosecutors say the relationship with the ex-Moorpark High educator began a year ago. The teenager is now his wife.

December 14, 2002|Holly J. Wolcott | Times Staff Writer

Rejecting pleas of mercy from the victim and her mother, a Ventura County judge Friday sentenced a former wrestling coach at Moorpark High School to a year in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student who is now his wife.

Andrew Fonseca, 23, must also register as a sex offender, which his attorney said will prevent him from ever teaching or coaching again.

Before sentencing, the girl's mother pleaded for leniency.

"Andrew is living at our house, married to our daughter and he works and supports her," the mother said. "It's been the best thing that ever happened to her."

Prosecutors said later they may also file misdemeanor charges against the girl's parents for allegedly knowing about the sexual relationship and failing to contact authorities.

The punishment meted out by Judge Kevin J. McGee brought tears to the girl and visibly angered her parents, who support the marriage. The girl's father softly uttered a stream of profanities from the back of the courtroom.

"This case is one of the most unusual that one can imagine," McGee said.

The couple married in September, two months after the volunteer coach pleaded guilty to three felonies involving the high school student.

McGee said Fonseca had committed a serious breach of trust and that the case needed to be a deterrent to other teachers and coaches in the community.

"He violated that trust in perhaps the most egregious way possible by initiating a sexual relationship," McGee said.

The girl, now 15, began having sex with Fonseca a year ago, prosecutors said. The coach was the girl's mentor, they said.

Fonseca will enter a work-furlough program Jan. 13 to serve the remaining 100 days of his sentence.

The girl, who sat next to Fonseca in court, told McGee she loves her husband.

"I don't feel he needs to go back to prison or jail," she told the judge.

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