A basketball coach who worked at four high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley is facing felony charges on allegations that he molested several of his players.
Jeremy Haggerty, 34, is charged with eight counts of sexual battery, four counts of lewd acts on a minor and one count of attempted lewd act on a child. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 14 years in state prison.
Authorities accuse Haggerty of molesting eight basketball players beginning in 2008 while he coached at Valencia, West Ranch and Canyon high schools and Trinity Classical Academy. The students, who are now all adults, ranged from 14 to 17 years old when the incidents occurred, said Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Brian Hudson.
A William S. Hart High Union School District official declined to comment on the allegations or confirm Haggerty’s dates of employment with the district. Trinity Classical Academy did not immediately provide a comment Friday.
The Sheriff’s Department began investigating Haggerty in August when a former player reported that he had been molested by the coach years earlier at Trinity Classical Academy, Hudson said.
“He reached a point in his life where he just needed to tell somebody what happened,” he said.
Over the course of about a month, seven other men came forward. Some of the alleged incidents had occurred years earlier and the then-teens had abruptly stopped playing basketball because of them, Hudson said.
Authorities allege Haggerty massaged the players, in what he called “body maintenance,” and touched the players’ genitals. The coach allegedly told them the activity would help them recover from workouts faster and improve their performance, Hudson said.
Haggerty was arrested Thursday in Tustin shortly before 8 a.m. He had recently relocated to Orange County, where he had started a job at a high school days earlier, Hudson said.
Haggerty is being held on $300,000 bail, according to jail records.
Hudson said authorities are concerned there may be additional victims in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at (877) 710-5273 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.