Police Teaming Up With Community Leaders in Child Abuse Case

LULAC and police urge parents to come forward in child sex abuse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Garland police and community leaders are working to get any more victims of a former soccer coach accused of child molestation to come forward. (Published Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012)

    Garland Police are teaming up with community leaders to help with a child sex assault investigation.

    The case against Bernardo Mondragon-Guzman keeps building as the 41-year-old former youth soccer coach is charged with two more counts of Indecency with a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

    Koni Ramos-Kaiwi, the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said this case it home. Her granddaughter plays for the Garland Soccer Association.

    "When it happens to your own, it hurts, it hits us right in our heart in our soul," said Ramos-Kaiwi.

    Police accuse Mondragon-Guzman of molesting a second 10-year-old boy and investigators say plan to interview four other boys, making the total possible victims six.

    "Certainly this is one of the bigger cases that we've worked because it involves so many kids," said Officer Joe Harn with the Garland Police Department.

    Police said they believe all the victims were on the same team and that Mondragon-Guzman moved up with the boys as they grew older — gaining their trust as he coached for the past five years or so.

    "Why would somebody do something like that?" asked Ramos-Kaiwi. "Especially a Latino male against our Latino children when we are entrusting our children to you, to teach them, to guide them, to play a game that is a passion to us."

    LULAC has teamed up with the police to help them get past a roadblock in the investigation -- Hispanic parents afraid of being deported if they talk.

    "Please come forward, the only way this man is ever going away for a long long time is if we have our parents come forward," said Ramos- Kaiwi.

    Parents concerned about possible abuse are urged to call the Garland Police Department at 972-485-4840.