Football coach facing serious sex-related charges against minors

Imperial Valley

Football coach facing serious sex-related charges against minors

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EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Southwest High School head varsity football coach Joe Connor has been charged with molesting two young girls.

The Imperial County District Attorney's office says the 38-year-old football coach carried a relationship with the two victims starting when they were just 11 or 12 years old.

According to a new release from District Attorney, Gilbert Otero,  the sexual abuse began for one of the victims when she was in 7th grade and continued through high school.

Otero accuses coach Conner of starting a sexual relationship with the second victim when she was just 11 or 12 years old -- and continued the abuse through high school.

Acinorev Vega - a senior at southwest -  says it's scary knowing Conner was around so many students.

"Well, it feels very uncomfortable. I wouldn't like for a friend to be coached by him."

Parents - were also surprised to hear the news.

"It's very disturbing not only because both of my kids are in extracurricular activities but because you would think they'd do background checks on these people. It's just very surprising. Upsetting also."

13 On Your Side spoke with the Central Union High School District superintendent - Tom Budde - who says Conner is currently on administrative leave and not allowed on school grounds.

"For parents, obviously, our priority - like theirs - is the safety and security of their children. And it's our understanding that this case, the issue, isn't related to something that happened at school."

Budde would not say if the two victims attend Southwest. He says the school is in the process of naming an interim coach. Conner remains free - for now.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Brawley court on October 23rd. The District Attorney's Office plans to ask the judge that he be held on $100,000 bond.

We will continue to follow this story for you and will bring you the latest as it becomes available.

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