SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) – A basketball coach who worked at multiple high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley area has been arrested on allegations he molested several of his players.
Jeremy Haggerty, 34, was taken into custody Thursday by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on allegations he molested at least eight players.
According to the sheriff’s department, detectives began investigating Haggerty in August and learned that he had molested multiple players over a period of several years going back to at least 2008.
“He gained the trust of parents where their parents would allow the suspect to provide the children with one-on-one tutoring sessions to improve their basketball skills,” says Sgt. Brian Hudson with the LA Sheriff’s Department.
Haggerty coached at several schools in the Santa Clarita Valley area, Hudson says.
Haggerty is believed to have coached at Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia, along with West Ranch High and Canyon High.
He attended and played basketball at Canyon High in the early 2000s, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported. He also coached in Orange County, Hudson said.
Haggerty is being held on $1.2 million bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim reported that several of the molestation incidents allegedly occurred at the suspect’s house, the victims house or at the Santa Clarita Athletic Club, a well-known gym in the area.
Thursday night, people who frequent the gym said they were shocked.
“As a parent, I would be horrified,” said Laura Zierhut.
“It’s disgusting, it’s horrible,” said Daniel Carrillo.
Haggerty is accused of massaging the players.
“These massages started out innocently enough,” says Sgt. Hudson, “eventually they progressed where he was touching the victims inappropriately in a sexual manner.”
He allegedly called it “body maintenance,” officials said.
Detectives believe Haggerty could have more victims. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Sheriff’s department (877) 710-5273.