Former basketball coach arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old team member

Police arrested former Mark Keppel High School basketball coach Joseph Alan Kikuchi, 56, on Thursday on suspicion of multiple counts of sexual assault against a minor. 

Kikuchi, who resigned as a coach at the Alhambra school on Sept. 15, was accused of having unlawful sexual contact with a 16-year-old student on his basketball team multiple times in the last year. He was arrested on multiple felony counts of sexual assault, including lewd or lascivious acts with a minor.

A school administrator reported the coach to police on Sept. 15 upon hearing a rumor about the coach and student, Alhambra Police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said. 

The Pasadena Star-News reported Wednesday that Kikuchi was being investigated and that the school's principal and an assistant principal had been placed on administrative leave.

Detectives arrested Kikuchi on Thursday, Johnson said. 

"Our detectives were able to contact the 16-year-old girl and she did cooperate with the investigation," Johnson said. The detectives also interviewed other students and witnesses and seized electronic evidence; Johnson did not know whether this was from phones or computers. 

Kikuchi is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, though detectives "may apply for a bail enhancement," Johnson said in an email. As of 3:55 p.m., charges had not yet been filed, according to a spokesperson for the district attorney's office.

Kikuchi is scheduled to be arraigned at Alhambra Superior Court on Monday.

The Star-News wrote Wednesday that Kikuchi resigned “due to personal health reasons.”

Representatives from the school and the superintendent's office could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. 

Anyone who has knowledge about these incidents or other incidents involving Kikuchi should contact Alhambra police at 626-570-5156 or detective1@alhambrapd.org.

Reach Sonali Kohli on Twitter @Sonali_Kohli or by email at Sonali.Kohli@latimes.com.

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