A former Murrieta Valley High School girls soccer coach who tried to coax a player into having sex with him pleaded guilty Monday to attempted statutory rape.
Daniel Ryan Kelly, 27, of Temecula could face probation and jail time when sentenced May 2 by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Albert Wojcik.
During a pretrial hearing Monday at the Southwest Justice Center, the defense and prosecution notified Wojcik that a plea deal had been reached in the case. In exchange for his plea to the attempted statutory rape count, the District Attorney's Office will drop a felony charge of arranging to meet a minor for the purpose of sex and a misdemeanor charge of annoying a child.
There was no indication of what sentence the judge might impose. Kelly remains free on $25,000 bail.
The defendant was arrested on Jan. 28, 2013, following an investigation into his interactions with a 16-year-old girl.
The youth, identified only as Jane Doe, was a member of the Murrieta Valley High School girls' junior varsity soccer team. Kelly was a walk-on coach, but did not teach at the school, according to police.
Prosecutors alleged that Kelly took an interest in the teen and began communicating with her regularly via phone and text messaging. When the girl confided that she was feeling a lot of stress at home, the defendant told her that one way to alleviate her stress was to have sex, according to a trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Julie Baldwin.
"Defendant told Jane Doe that if she wanted to talk about sex with him ... to use a 'code word,' either 'Training' or 'Workout' with a capital letter, and he would understand that to mean she was referring to sex," Baldwin wrote.
Kelly gave the girl a ride to a soccer tournament in Anaheim and told her that when he was younger, he dealt with anxiety by engaging in sexual intercourse, according to the trial brief.
When the defendant persisted in broaching the subject, the victim began to feel "uncomfortable" and told friends -- including a parent -- about what was happening, Baldwin said.
She said the information was passed to Murrieta police detectives, who had the victim make a "pretext" phone call to see if Kelly would make any admissions that could be recorded.
The conversation led to Kelly arranging to rendezvous with the girl outside a Temecula restaurant, with a plan to go from the eatery to an RV, where Kelly could start "Training" with the teenager, according to Baldwin.
Detectives arrested Kelly as he waited for the youth on the afternoon of Jan. 28.
During an interview with investigators, Kelly "admitted that he had a lapse of judgment," according to the brief.
– City News Service.