File photograph of a youth football game. / SUR

Malaga youth football coach gets 77-year prison sentence after being found guilty of abusing 30 minors

The Public Prosecutor's Office said victims suffered abuse, harassment and sexual assault at the hands of the individual

ÁLVARO FRÍAS / JUAN CANO

A youth football coach admitted his guilt at a trial in Malaga of abusing, harassing and sexually assaulting thirty young players. He was handed a 77-year prison sentence after he expressed his regret for his actions and claimed he was a victim of these types of episodes as a child.

The Provincial Court of Malaga hosted the proceedings in which the defendant faced a 180-year prison sentence, that the Public Prosecutor's Office had been demanding, if he was found guilty.

The accused in court, this Monday (15 November). / MIGUE FERNANDEZ

The court heard that the defendant worked as a football coach in the youth category with players from 12 to 16 years old, the age of the vast majority of the victims.

Fake profiles

The prosecutor said that he looked for players on social media networks, mainly on Instagram. He did it hiding his identity with fake profiles in which he used the name of a young woman.

After building trust with the young people, he apparently sent them photos of a naked girl and induced them to send him nude images. Then a ‘real hell’ began for the minors, according to the prosecutor, who said that, once he had the snapshot of his victims, he threatened to publish them if they did not send him more with acts of explicit sex, naked videos or, even, demanded sexual actions from them.

Once he had obtained a compromised photo, the coach told them that he would send it to third parties if they did not show him their genitals or make live videos or send him other more compromising photos.

The prosecutor said that the defendant even sent intimate photos of some of his victims to other boys, football players and colleagues, for not having complied with his demands.

Thirty victims

It is be believed that there are at least 30 victims and more than a dozen suffered sexual assault crimes. The court was told that one player suffered four years of abuse, from the age of ten to 14 years old. During that period, the prosecutor said that the coach exercised control over the minor, indicating who could approach him, who his friends could be and even monitored if he was online on WhatsApp and the time he spent without connecting to the app. In addition, it was claimed, he prohibited him from having a relationship with any girl and was jealous.

Sexual assaults

The prosecutor said that the coach was responsible for the distribution and possession of child pornography with respect to minors. He was also accused of thirteen sexual assaults on minors under 16 years of age, three more crimes of abuse, another three of harassment through telecommunications and three more of exhibitionism.