ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) — A prominent Southern California athletic trainer and a former coach at a sports and rehab facility in Orange County accused of sexually assaulting underage girls has been arrested, police say.
The Santa Ana Police Department says Chris Flores was arrested in Bakersfield during a traffic stop on Thursday.
Police said he was with two other people at the time of his arrest, though their identities weren’t released.
According to an update issued by police, one of Flores’ victims is a 14-year-old girl from Riverside.
He allegedly puts her through Sports Training and Rehabilitation Services, also known as STARS. Flores was a former coach there and the gym used the Santiago Middle School campus and field to train in Orange.
“That happened in the course of a year, multiple times,” said Santa Ana PD Sgt. Maria Lopez.
Police said several of those assaults occurred at the Calvary Chapel high school campus where some trainings were held.
They said the assaults also happened across the city of Santa Ana.
“In Southern California, he definitely had access to minors,” said Lopez. “He was a trainer, a coach, so that’s where we see our concern, that he did have access to other minors.”
In audio that allegedly captures Flores harassing one of his victims obtained by Eyewitness News, he is heard speaking to the teenager over the phone, asking if she deleted texts they had exchanged.
“Did you delete anything?” the audio says.
After the teen assures Flores that she has indeed deleted texts, he asks her on a date, but she turns him down.
“What the hell? We never get to chill and now you don’t want to go and you’re about to start school,” the audio says. “So stop being a dummy.”
The recording continues, with Flores saying, “What about tonight after practice? You want to go watch a movie?”
Another portion of the audio, Flores says, “We talked about this dude, you’ve got to stop with the nos.”
Police say the teen eventually agreed to meet with Flores and they said she’s not alone.
A 15-year-old from Irvine reported similar charges against Flores to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
“Whether she was an athlete or enrolled or what his relationship or relation to that female, that minor, is, I’m not certain,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, Jason David, founder of STARS, spoke with Eyewitness News Wednesday, and said he wants the public to know that these type of accusations will not be tolerated and that the safety and security of these children is their top priority.
“I’m sick to his stomach, I’m disgusted, I’m outraged,” David said in an Instagram post addressing the sexual misconduct allegations against Flores. “Please understand I will stand with you guys through and through.”
David said STARS has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct and they have severed all ties with Flores.
David, who is father of five girls, said right now he can only stand with the alleged victims and their families.
“To the young ladies who are speaking up and who are thinking about speaking up, I commend you guys. You guys are brave. I stand with you guys and I just pray that justice is served.”
Also, David said STARS has immediately implemented new protocols to ensure every child who is part of their program is safe and feels protected.
He wants anyone who feels they may have been a victim of this coach to come forward.
“These poor little girls not only have to deal with this in private, but now public, but I want to encourage you guys to continue to speak up, continue to share your story,” David said. “We will stand with you guys.”
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