Chris Flores, a distinguished Southern California youth coach, was arrested Thursday in Bakersfield on a number of counts of sexual assault of a minor.
A warrant for Flores’ arrest had been issued by the Santa Ana Police Division and was executed with the help of Bakersfield police, in keeping with Santa Ana police Sgt. Maria Lopez.
Flores, 37, had been underneath investigation since Aug. 5, when police turned conscious of allegations in opposition to him. Flores, also referred to as “Coach Frogg,” is well-known within the area for his affiliation with a number of high-profile present and former faculty and NFL soccer gamers.
The allegations surfaced on social media this week, stemming from an audio recording of two events through which an grownup male voice — recognized by police as Flores — prods a woman to go see a film with him. When she declines his request to FaceTime, the person says, “We talked about this, dude. You gotta cease with the nos.”
The person goes on to ask the woman whether or not she “deleted every part,” which Santa Ana police stated its detectives interpreted as Flores asking her to delete messages between them.
In keeping with police, the 14-year-old woman stated Flores “sexually assaulted her a number of occasions via the yr in 2021.” A second woman, 15, made related allegations to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Division, in keeping with Santa Ana police.
Flores was booked at Orange County Jail, and his bail was set at $500,000.
“Santa Ana Police Division Detectives imagine there could also be extra victims that Flores preyed upon as a coach with entry to many kids and youngsters,” the division stated in an announcement.
Flores’ lawyer, Edward Welbourn, instructed ESPN that he couldn’t affirm it was Flores on the recording and denied the allegations had been true.
“Chris has been a coach, actually a instructor and a mentor to youngsters locally for a few years and all of those allegations which have come out are very stunning to him,” Welbourn stated Wednesday. “He completely denies any form of inappropriate relationship or contact with any present or former athlete or scholar he is skilled. All he is tried to do is assist youngsters and transfer them on of their lives and their careers.”
The denial Wednesday got here simply hours after Flores’ enterprise companion, former NFL cornerback Jason David, posted a video on Instagram through which he stated the coaching facility they co-founded had severed ties with Flores and that he’ll help the Santa Ana Police Division in its investigation.
“By no means in one million years would I ever think about releasing a public assertion to handle sexual misconduct allegations that entails Mr. Flores and our harmless little ladies,” David stated. “I am sick to my abdomen. I am disgusted. I am outraged.” He added that he had empathy for households concerned and inspired individuals concerned to talk up, including: “We are going to stand with you.”
Flores and David based Rising STARS in 2017, in keeping with a doc designed to supply details about the group to potential monetary donors. STARS Prep Academy, an offshoot of Rising STARS, has described itself as a co-op that gives elite sports activities efficiency coaching for center faculty athletes.
STARS Prep Academy has a relationship with Santiago Constitution Center Faculty in Orange County that permits college students to attend faculty within the morning and practice of their particular sport within the afternoon, in keeping with an administrative official for the constitution faculty. STARS and Santiago have a facilities-sharing settlement that permits youngsters within the STARS program to coach on a portion of the Santiago campus. There have been roughly 100 college students, each female and male, in this system’s final educational yr, in keeping with a number of sources.
Within the Rising STARS informational doc, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, Alabama quarterback Bryce Younger and Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei are among the many athletes listed as being a part of “Our Stars Household.”
On his public Fb web page, Flores typically shares footage of himself with distinguished faculty soccer gamers and coaches and prime recruits.
Flores’ involvement with highschool and faculty athletes extends past his function as a coach. In 2020, Ranges Sports activities Group LLC was registered to Flores’ residence deal with along with his spouse, Kristen, as the only real worker. In an up to date submitting with the state of California in November 2021, Ranges Sports activities Group added a second supervisor, Justin Giangrande, who has recognized himself as a co-founder of Ranges Sports activities Group.
In a textual content message trade with ESPN, Giangrande deferred questions on Flores’ involvement within the firm to an exterior spokesperson engaged on his private behalf.
“Mr. Flores shouldn’t be, and by no means has been a authorized companion of Ranges,” the spokesperson, Tiffani Pleasure Murchison, instructed ESPN. “After all, when people are in related industries and there are synergies, they do work collectively. And so he has been affiliated, they’ve labored collectively, however he has by no means been a authorized companion.”
The assertion contradicts a put up from the Ranges Sports activities Group Instagram account, which referred to Chris Flores as “our Co-Founder.”
Murchison was unable to supply any particulars about Kristen Flores’ skilled accountability with Ranges, apart from she is a “companion.” After talking with ESPN, Murchison issued an announcement on behalf of Ranges that stated the corporate had severed ties with each Floreses. It is unclear what grounds the corporate needed to sever ties with its founder in mild of her husband’s arrest, and the corporate was unwilling to supply extra context.
“[Chris Flores] was broadly considered as an opportunist, who leveraged his relationships with athletes to make under-the-table offers with brokers, monetary advisers and sure faculty coaches,” one supply within the identify, picture and likeness (NIL) trade instructed ESPN. “He had organized offers with quite a few entities previously and most lately was broadly often known as the primary recruiter for Ranges.”
In June, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick joined Ranges Sports activities Group as a companion and head of athlete improvement, he introduced on Twitter.
This is not the primary time Flores has confronted costs associated to sexual assault. In 2009, Flores was charged with raping and sodomizing a 21-year-old lady in Pasadena. His bail was set at $1.1 million.
In keeping with court docket paperwork obtained by ESPN, Flores was charged with three counts: unlawfully kidnapping and carrying away the girl to allegedly commit rape/sodomy; sodomy by anesthesia or managed substance; and rape by use of medicine. Flores, who on the time coached soccer at Cathedral Excessive Faculty in Los Angeles, was discovered not responsible on all three costs after a 17-day trial in July of 2010.
The protection had argued that after an evening of heavy consuming for her twenty first birthday, the girl was intoxicated and was discovered outdoors a number of homes away from her residence with Flores kneeling beside her. The girl stated Flores had sexual activity together with her whereas she was incapacitated. The prosecution argued Flores ought to have realized she was unable to supply consent or resist.
“They simply believed no matter he stated,” the girl, who requested to stay nameless because of the sensitivity of the state of affairs, instructed ESPN in a telephone name. “The entire narrative via the trial was that nothing occurred. … It was simply gross. I simply felt alone and like they made me out to be loopy.”
The girl stated she had “zero connection” to individuals within the present case. However she added: “I knew this present day was coming, however that is even worse than I believed.”
ESPN’s Pete Thamel contributed to this story.