ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – A former youth basketball coach in Orange County was given a sentence of 150 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting young girls that he coached.
Carlos Francisco Juarez, 48, from Costa Mesa, was first arrested in April 2019 and later found guilty by a jury in July 2023, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He was convicted of 21 crimes involving sexually lewd acts perpetrated against young girls, KTLA reported.
“This coach was in a position of trust and authority over these young girls and he took advantage of them,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “Youth sports should be a safe environment where neither parents nor athletes should have to worry about children being targeted by a sexual predator. As a result of the bravery of these young victims to speak out, another child molester is behind bars for the rest of his life and will no longer be allowed to prey on innocent children.”
The Orange County jury found Juarez guilty of the following offenses:
- 10 felony counts of a lewd act upon a child under 14
- Seven felony counts of lewd act upon a child
- Two felony counts of oral copulation of a minor under the age of 16
- Two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor
The case involved four victims who were between 11- and 14-years-old when the sexual acts took place between 2005 and 2010, authorities said.
Juarez coached several club basketball teams, including SoCal Swoosh and O.C. Mustangs. He also worked at Aliso Niguel, Costa Mesa, Mater Dei and Tustin high schools.
According to court records, he had an 11-year-old girl “practice topless” in 2005 at a gym in Tustin “after he initially sought to have her remove all her clothing.” He then proceeded to sexually assaulted the girl after practice.
Juarez moved into the home of one of the victims and sexually abused her for more than four years, KTLA reported.
In 2008, Juarez sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl he was coaching during private basketball lessons. He was also found guilty of forcing a 13-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him in exchange for the promise of becoming a starter.