Reporting Stephanie Lucero
GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Garland plan to file more charges against a youth soccer coach. Bernardo Mondragon-Guzman has been charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy. Authorities said that they have confirmed a second victim, and have identified four more potential victims.
Police also believe that there could be even more young victims, but are worried that they are staying silent because of their immigration status.
Members with the League of United Latin American Citizens came forward on Monday afternoon to help ease those concerns. “The community has been impacted severely and, again, if you understand our Latino culture, it spreads within the community really, really fast,” said Koni Ramos-Kaiwi with LULAC Garland. “That’s why we’re here. We’re trying to get these families to feel comfortable and safe knowing that they can come forward.”
The Garland Police Department said that they will not ask the victims or their parents about immigration status. Hispanic leaders also said that they would help facilitate the process for victims who do come forward. “We care about the children in this community,” said Garland Police Department spokesman Joe Harn, “and we don’t want any perception or immigration status to stand in the way.”
Mondragon-Guzman was arrested earlier this month. Police said that they do not know how long the alleged abuse lasted. The 41-year-old coached with the Garland Soccer Association for at least five years. He instructed young players from 5 to 10 years old. Police said that, if your child has ever been coached by this man — especially alone — then there is a possibility that sexual contact ensued.
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