Garland police interviewing more victims possibly abused by soccer coach




Posted on September 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 15 at 6:25 PM

GARLAND – Garland police investigators are interviewing more child victims who may have been sexually abused by a soccer coach.

Department spokesman Joe Harn said concerned parents have called police in regards to Bernardo Mondragon-Guzman, a 41-year-old man who is currently jailed without bond for allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy. 

He would not say how many families have come forward. No interviews have been conducted yet, nor have any new cases been filed. 

Mondragon-Guzman is charged with continual sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony. According to an arrest affidavit, he’s accused of raping a 10-year-old boy repeatedly for more than a year. Investigators feared there were more victims and asked families to call police if they were "concerned over their child's relationship" with Mondragon-Guzman.

The boy was able to describe Mondragon-Guzman’s bedroom and car interior to investigators, both of which are where the alleged abuse occurred. 

As News 8’s Jason Whitely reported yesterday

"The sexual abuse started in the summer when the victim was 9 years old," according to the arrest affidavit. Guzman "…keeps baby wipes in the glove compartment and naked pictures under the back floor board carpet of the car" and "one time Guzman used his phone to make a video of the sexual act."

The Garland Soccer Association where Mondragon-Guzman coached has launched an investigation into how he was allowed onto the field. He was a coach there for five years, leading teams of children aged between five and 10-years-old.

Again, quoting from Whitely’s report: 

The long-established soccer organization performs background checks on adults who work with children, police said, but Guzman had a clean record.

"We're going to get to the bottom of it and we're going to do what it takes to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Kimberly Verity the vice president of the Garland Soccer Association. "We want to do everything we can to protect our children," Verity added. "That's what we take pride in."

Those background checks are performed by an Internet company rather than directly by a police department.

"We can see more details on a case," Harn said. "We can actually contact agencies and tell what's going on." 

All volunteers must submit a background check to the association. It can be done online, using the honor system. Just input your information to this website and within minutes, your profile is either flagged or it isn't –– if it is, then the Garland Soccer Association would get involved. Mondragon-Guzman, officials say, was not flagged.

The problem police see is communication.

"The agencies are probably not going to release all the information that they would release to us," Harn said.

However, Mondragon-Guzman is jailed without bond because he is in the country illegally.