LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – An Olympic gold-medal winning boxer and coach pleaded not guilty Thursday to allegations he sexually assaulted a child who was his student at an East Los Angeles gym.
Fifty-three-year-old Paul Gonzales, a 1984 Olympic boxing champion, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court Thursday to four counts of committing lewd acts on a child under age 14, one count each of attempted lewd act upon a child, possession of child or youth pornography, distributing or showing pornography to a minor and contact with a minor for a sexual offense.
He remains jailed on $545,000 bail.
Gonzales, a father, was arrested Dec. 29. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials say Gonzales sexually assaulted a student he befriended and groomed at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club on East Olympic Boulevard, where he had been a head coach for about 10 years. The boxing club is part of the L.A. County Parks and Recreation Department.
In 1984, Gonzales became the first American Latino man to win Olympic gold, earning the medal in the light flyweight category for boxing. A short documentary made by Trans World Sport in 2014 tracked his rise as a child who broke free from gangs to become a youth mentor.
Gonzales is due back in court Feb. 28, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.
Investigators believe Gonzales may have more victims. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the LASD Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273.