On Tuesday February 4th, law enforcement officers announced that a coach for a Cerritos travel Softball team was arrested under suspicion of sending lewd text messages to a 14-year-old girl who played on the team. According to arresting authorities, there may also be other victims involved.
40-year-old Anthony Christopher Sota of Anaheim was taken into custody in November on suspicion of contacting a minor for lewd acts, as well as sending harmful material to a minor. Sota was the head coach for an 18 and under girls’ Softball team based out of Cerritos and had no affiliation with local schools or athletic programs.
After reports were made to the police in October, authorities launched an investigation. A 14-year-old victim stepped forward to state that Sota had sent her lewd text messages and that he had the intent to carry out the lewd acts in person, according to officials with the Long Beach Police Department. Sota is currently free on bail and is awaiting a future court appearance.
Administrators from the travel Softball organization released a statement that Sota had not been with the team since news broke of the investigation. Sota had previously been with the team for four years and was well-respected in the league. His daughter also played on the team. Investigations concerning other potential victims are still ongoing.
As is constantly demonstrated in sports organizations and this particular case, child sexual abuse is often committed by trusted individuals who are in positions of power. Abusing this power, however, is a reprehensible and illegal act, and one that can result in severe criminal penalties. Victims of sexual abuse in sports, as well as their families, have the right to hold these individuals and any organizations that failed to prevent the abuse liable for their damages.
For more information about asserting your legal rights, contact a California sexual abuse lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm at (949) 557-5800.