Former soccer coach pleads not guilty to sex crimes

A former Irvine soccer coach accused of felony sexual crimes against a teenage girl pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday.

Ian Ebert, 26, engaged in lewd acts with the girl, who is between 14 and 15, prosecutors said. The crimes allegedly occurred three times between Aug. 1 and Dec. 8.

He had occasional contact with her because of his work as a coach for the Strikers FC of Irvine club soccer league, according to police.

Ebert later moved to Los Gatos, where he was arrested Jan. 15 after a school counselor alerted police to the alleged abuse.

Although the alleged crimes occurred while Ebert was an IUSD employee, police said there is currently no link between the victim and his position at two public schools.

Ebert started as an assistant soccer coach at Woodbridge High School in fall 2009 and left the following year to coach the boys’ varsity soccer team at University High School.

He returned to Woodbridge as the head soccer coach from July 2011 to December 2012.

Prosecutors are encouraging anyone who may have been a victim or who has information about possible crimes to call investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 834-8794.

If convicted, Ebert faces a maximum of four years and four months in jail and mandatory sex-offender registration. He is free on $100,000 bail.

He is due back in court March 15.

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck