Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Ex-Bay Area basketball coach accused of orally copulating boy facing hearing

A former Bay Area elementary school basketball coach accused of orally copulating a 14-year-old boy and victimizing others is facing a preliminary hearing Thursday (January 19).

Julio Edgardo Ortiz, 36, of Menlo Park, faces 35 charges, including continuous sexual abuse of a child, willful cruelty to a child likely to cause great bodily injury or death, misdemeanor drunk driving, and driving on a suspended license. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

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.

At Thursday’s hearing, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Joseph Bergeron is expected to decide whether there’s enough evidence to hold Ortiz for trial.

Ortiz is currently in custody at Redwood City’s Maguire Correctional Facility on $4 million bail.

Monica Toole, Ortiz’s attorney, hasn’t responded to an interview request.

Wagstaffe hasn’t provided details about the additional victims, but he’s indicated that in addition to the September 2015 incident, Ortiz had also been involved with victims from January 2013 to March 2014.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 19, 2017 @ 3:27 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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