NEWMAN - A volunteer assistant varsity girls soccer coach at Orestimba High School accused of having a sexual relationship with a player was arrested Monday, Newman police told Mattos Newspapers.
Authorities identified the suspect as Manuel A. Damian, 21, of Newman.
Police Chief Randy Richardson said Damian was taken into custody after voluntarily coming to the Police Department. He said Damian made no statement.
Richardson said the coach was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on a felony charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and a misdemeanor charge of oral copulation with a minor.
Orestimba High Principal Justin Pruett said school officials were alerted to the allegations Friday by students who had overheard a conversation on campus regarding the situation and came forward with the information.
Pruett said Damian was a first-year volunteer assistant coach. Damian was not employed by the school district in any other capacity, Pruett said, and had no contact with students outside his role with the soccer program.
He said Damian went through a standard background check before being approved as a volunteer coach.
Richardson said investigators believe the alleged incident occurred last week.
“It was an off-campus thing, but we believe that they started communicating because of the sport,” he told Mattos Newspapers.
He said authorities were continuing to investigate to determine whether the alleged relationship was ongoing, and whether additional victims may be involved. “Nothing to this point leads us in that direction,” Richardson emphasized Monday.
Pruett said school officials met with the team on Monday, and called each parent individually to inform them of the situation. Counseling has been made available to anybody on the team as needed.
He and Richardson each stressed the importance of students and parents coming forward with information when they are aware of situations which may jeopardize student safety.
“My hope would be that if they suspect something or feel uncomfortable about something, that they let us know so that we can look into it,” Pruett stated.
“We are hoping that when students hear these types of things or suspect them, that they will notify staff or law enforcement,” echoed Richardson.
According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office website, Damian was being held Monday on $25,000 bail. The website indicated that he was no longer in custody Tuesday.