Houman Fakhimi

Santa Ana Sex Crime Allegations Lodged Against Soccer Coach

A 30-year-old soccer coach is facing at least five felony charges in Santa Ana relating to allegations of sexual assault and molestation of three teen boys.

Santa Ana Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Houman Fakhimi knows that many will look at this case at the outset and say that, true to form, another predator has taken up an occupation allowing closer interaction with potential victims. While we can't presume to know the validity of these claims, what we do know is that too often, the opposite is true: People get involved in helping professions, wanting to make a difference in the lives of young people, and end up facing down false accusations that threaten their career, reputation and freedom.

Suddenly, every kindness, every attempt to counsel or even communication is scrutinized in depth and viewed through the skewed prism of some perceived evil intent. In these situations, many innocent people have hurt their cases by trying in vain to defend their actions - on their own - to police interrogators or the media.

In these cases, it is critical that you keep your interaction with investigators as limited as possible, declining to speak with them under any circumstances without the presence of an attorney. It doesn't matter if this demand seems to confirm outside suspicions about your guilt, painful though that may be. The key is to give them less ammunition to prove it.

In this case, the defendant has been charged with forcible oral copulation on a minor, lewd or lascivious acts with a minor and lewd acts upon a child.

According to news reports, investigators allege that the coach contacted a 15-year-old via a social networking site late last year and arranged a meeting in the parking lot near his apartment. Officers say at that time, the coach forced the boy to engage in oral sex.

Then earlier this month, authorities say a 14-year-old boy who lived in the coach's neighborhood alleged he was invited into his apartment to use the computer. During that time, the boy says, the coach touched him sexually. Prosecutors say that same day, the coach molested another boy, aged 10, who was also in his apartment, though the circumstances surrounding that last incident are unclear.

At this point, it does not appear the boys had any involvement in the youth soccer league, though officials say they believe there is a likelihood of more victims, given that his job put him in close proximity to a number of young boys on a regular basis.

The defendant was being held on $1 million bail, with arraignment set for Feb. 1. If prosecutors are successful in winning a conviction, the coach could be sentenced to up to life in prison. If he were to be released, he would have to contend with a mandatory, lifetime sex offender registration.

Potential defenses in cases like this are heavily dependent on the individual circumstances. Sex crimes involving children can't be defended as having been consensual encounters, but defense lawyers can approach it from a standpoint of insufficient evidence or possibly even false allegations.

Even if DNA evidence is a factor, recent reports by The New York Times and other media outlets across the country reveal that forensic evidence is increasingly being called into question in criminal courts, due to the systematically shoddy work of laboratory technicians.