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Ex-Costa Mesa High football coach suspected of soliciting sex from detective he thought was a teen girl

A former Costa Mesa High School football coach was arrested Wednesday in Irvine on suspicion of soliciting sex from a teenage girl online, authorities said. The person he thought was a girl was actually a detective, police said.

Jeremy Osso, 39, of Costa Mesa has been charged with communicating with a minor for sex, sending harmful matter to a minor, attempted solicitation of child pornography and burglary, all felonies, according to San Diego County court records.

He is being held in the Vista Detention Facility with bail set at $100,000, according to jail records. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Osso, an Estancia High School alumnus, was head football coach for Costa Mesa High School from 2006 to 2011. He was an assistant coach from 2001 to 2003.

Most recently, Osso was a defensive coordinator for the varsity football team at University High School in Irvine and an instructional assistant at Irvine High School, according to the Irvine Unified School District.

Irvine Unified officials placed Osso on unpaid administrative leave after learning of the investigation Wednesday. The district said there is no indication that any students from Irvine Unified schools are involved in the case.

“Effective immediately, Mr. Osso will no longer coach or have contact with students at University or Irvine high schools or through any Irvine Unified school,” the district wrote in a statement. “IUSD takes these allegations very seriously and will continue to work closely with the [Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force] and the Carlsbad Police Department as they move forward with the investigation.”

Irvine police detained Osso shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday and turned him over to Carlsbad police, who led the investigation as part of an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force operation.

The task force is a national network of 61 task forces involving thousands of agencies that investigate child abuse and exploitation cases online.

Carlsbad detectives said they became aware of Osso in May. Authorities said Osso was communicating online with someone he believed was a teenage girl but who actually was a police detective.

Carlsbad police declined to comment further about the investigation.

Osso was Costa Mesa High’s head football coach until he was fired in 2011. Phil D’Agostino, who was then Mesa’s principal, reportedly wanted to go in a different direction. Osso said at the time that he was fired because he didn’t have a teaching credential. The school did offer to let him stay as offensive coordinator, he said.

“I just don’t think I was Phil’s guy,” Osso told the Daily Pilot at the time. “That’s OK. He’s the principal and he makes the decisions. If I’m not his guy, that’s fine. I can live with that.”

Staff writer Bradley Zint contributed to this report.

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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