GARLAND (CBS 11 NEWS) – New information and reaction to a youth soccer coach under arrest. Bernardo Mondragon-Guzman, 41, is behind bars accused of sexually assaulting one of his young players.
Mondragon-Guzman was an illegal immigrant, and he was a coach with the Garland Soccer Association. He coached children, five to ten years old.
Court documents say the ten year-old victim described the coach’s bedroom and car where the sexual assaults took place.
“I was shocked. We were all shocked and saddened that it’s happened,” said Kimberly Verity.
“We deal with many children and parents. We’ve never had anything like this before. It’s heartbreak,” said Don Starkey.
Both sit on the board of the Garland Soccer Association. Verity is the Vice President of the association. Starkey is the Facility Director.
Verity said the Garland Soccer Association started paying an organization to conduct an extra background check on their coaches two years ago even though their parent organization, the North Texas Soccer Association, has always and still conducts background checks.
“I know we do that every year on every single coach,” Verity said.
When told Mondragon-Guzman turned out to be in the country illegally, she said, “That’s what I’ve heard. That’s what I’ve heard.”
They don’t know how Bernardo Mondragon-guzman slipped through.
“We’re going to do everything we can to protect our children. And if we need to change things, we’ll do, we’ll change things,” Verity said.
Justin Carver says Mondragon-Guzman has lived next door to him in Garland four years. That’s about how long Mondragon-Guzman has been coaching for the Garland Soccer Association.
“I’m shocked. I’ve talked to that guy a couple of times. ‘Hi, how ya doin. Waves when he comes out when he walks his pit bull,'” Carver said.
Carver said Mondragon-Guzman lives with a woman and two children.
“This is why it’s shocking. Cause they don’t have a lot of people over there. And they have two kids that live with them,” Carver said.
Carmen Zapata doesn’t usually watch her eight-year-old son’s soccer practice, and Mondragon-Guzman did not coach her son’s team. But once she heard about the allegations involving the coach, she came to watch over her son.
“It’s bad. Wow. We have to keep our eyes open,” she said.
Zapata worries now, that every Hispanic coach will be suspect.
“Because one did it, they’re going to think all of them might do it too and I don’t think that’s fair,” she said.
Mondragon-Guzman is in jail, being held by immigration authorities. Police are worried about other victims. They’re asking parents to
talk to their children.
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