Garland Police Interview More Children in Sexual Abuse Case

Youth soccer coach charged with continuous sexual abuse of child

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Garland police are interviewing at least two other children who say they were also sexually abused by a youth soccer coach who is charged with abusing a boy on his soccer team. (Published Friday, Sep 14, 2012)

    Garland police are interviewing at least two other children who may have been sexually assaulted by their youth soccer coach.

    Bernardo Mondragon-Guzman, 41, is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. Mondragon-Guzman is accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old player.

    Concerned Parents Call Police About Garland Coach

    [DFW] Concerned Parents Call Police About Garland Coach
    Garland police say they have been getting calls from concerned parents since youth soccer coach Bernardo Mondragon-Guzman was arrested and accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy. (Published Friday, Sep 14, 2012)

    "We have received some more phone calls, and investigators are telling me that now that there's several of those phone calls, that's going to warrant more investigation," Garland police spokesman Officer Joe Harn said. "So as we suspected, we may well have some more victims."

    According to an arrest affidavit, the boy told investigators that Mondragon-Guzman forced him to have sex several times at his Garland home and in his car. The affidavit also said Mondragon-Guzman forced the boy to watch pornography and at one time videotaped the abuse.

    "A big concern of ours is to be able to get them the help that they need to try to recover from these sexual assaults,” Harn said.

    Experts at the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center interviewed the boy. They said they are not surprised to see several other victims come forward.

    "Sadly, it's not surprising," said Autumn Williams, senior education specialist. "If someone has earned a position of trust, they are looking for victims, and typically it’s not just one victim. On average, perpetrators have 17 victims."

    Williams' advice for parents whose children may have come into contact with Mondragon-Guzman is to remain calm and believe the children.

    Police said Mondragon-Guzman had a clean record and are investigating how he started coaching with the Garland Soccer Association, which requires that volunteer coaches and team managers undergo background checks.

    Garland police said it may be weeks before they complete their investigation.

    Mondragon-Guzman is being held without bond on an immigration hold at the Dallas County Jail.

    Police are asking parents who may be concerned over their child's relationship with Mondragon-Guzman to contact Detective Galvan at 972-205-2082.

    The Garland Soccer Association released this statement Friday night about the investigation:

    The Garland Soccer Association is extremely shocked and saddened by the allegations connected to Bernardo Mondragon. Our hearts go out to this young boy and his family.

    We would like to let everyone know that the GSA Board is not taking this situation lightly and we will cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation as necessary. Mr. Mondragon's coaching status has been removed from the Garland Soccer Association during this investigation. We will be reaching out to each of our members during this difficult time. We want to assure everyone that GSA has and will continue to take every measure necessary to protect our children. We would also like to stress the importance of all parents knowing where their children are at all times.

    As mentioned by the Garland Police Department, I would like to confirm that the Garland Soccer Association followed proper procedures in conducting a background check, which is a requirement of all volunteer coaches and/or team managers set by our organization as well as our parent organization. We perform these checks so that we can ensure the safety of our children while participating in GSA related activities. We firmly stand behind the policies and procedures set before us.

    At this point, we need to trust that our Garland Police Department, and any other law enforcement agencies involved, will follow through with this extensive investigation until a resolution is made. We unfortunately have no other information that we can offer due to the sensitive nature of the investigation. Therefore, we suggest any further inquiries be made with the Garland Police Department.

    Again, we do not take this lightly and continue to hurt for this family.

    Sincerely,
    Kimberley Verity
    Vice President
    Garland Soccer Association