Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Ex-basketball coach to get 50 years in child molestation case

Julio Edgardo Ortiz (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff's Department)

Julio Edgardo Ortiz (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department)

A former Bay Area elementary school basketball coach accused of orally copulating a 14-year-old boy and victimizing three other children is set to be sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading no contest in the case Tuesday.

As part of a plea deal, Julio Edgardo Ortiz, 37, pleaded to 11 felony counts of child molestation and sexual assault. The charges include sexual molestation, lewd acts on a child by force or fear, lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, contacting a minor to request child pornography, and digital sexual penetration of an adult woman by force or fear. Last week, Ortiz pleaded no contest to misdemeanor drunk driving.

A judge granted prosecutors’ motion to dismiss counts of misdemeanor drunk driving, felony child endangerment, and driving on a suspended license. Ortiz is set to be sentenced March 2. Before reaching the deal with prosecutors, he had faced the possibility of a life sentence.

The trial in the case had already been underway for five days when the resolution was reached.

Ortiz, a former Redwood City elementary school basketball coach, was arrested after a California Highway Patrol officer spotted his parked car with the engine running at 11:15 p.m. September 18, 2015 at Vista Point #3 off Highway 280. When the officer checked the car, he allegedly saw Ortiz orally copulating the boy, whom Ortiz had met while coaching him two years earlier, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a summary of the case. Ortiz allegedly was under the influence at the time of his arrest.

Since initial reports in the case, at least three other victims have come forward. A jury trial had been set but after another victim came forward, the original case was dismissed.

Ortiz is currently in custody at Redwood City’s Maple Street Correctional Center.

Wagstaffe has previously indicated that in addition to the September 2015 incident, Ortiz had also been involved with victims from January 2013 to March 2014.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 7, 2018 @ 4:42 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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