LANCASTER – Antelope Valley soccer coach Renoir Valenti molested him more than 10,000 times over a nearly 10-year period, according to an alleged victim who took the witness stand Friday.
The testimony came during day four of a preliminary hearing for Valenti, 50, who has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he sexual abused and molested 13 boys, ages 5 to 15, including five current or former soccer players he coached.
According to the testimony Friday, Valenti and the then five-year-old boy lived at the same apartment complex in east Palmdale in the 1990s, and the two were introduced through Valenti’s sons.
The boy began visiting Valenti’s house three to four days a week, and soon the friendship took a different turn, the witness, now 21, testified.
He said Valenti began giving him baths and then, gradually, the sessions moved to the bedroom, where Valenti would give him massages. The abuse escalated into oral sex between the two, and on several occasions, Valenti attempted to penetrate him but was unable to do so, the witness testified.
He said he told someone about the abuse in 1997, when he was six years old and trying to understand what was happening to him.
“I told my sister, my sister then told mom, my mom just froze,” the witness said.
Still, the boy continued to visit Valenti’s home. Valenti moved two times during their friendship, and the boy continued to visit Valenti at each residence, staying over every other weekend, according to his testimony. He said he was molested every time he visited Valenti’s home, and in some cases, up to six times in a weekend.
The witness recalled an incident in 2003 when officers showed up to Valenti’s home with “guns drawn.” The witness did not know at the time that the officers were responding to a child abuse report regarding Valenti’s son.
The witness said he saw Valenti choke and threaten his son following the incident with officers.
“The defendant choked [son’s name] up against the wall, and he says ‘you never tell our family issues outside of this,’” the witness testified.
Valenti molested him upwards of 10,000 times from the age of 5 to 27 days before his 14th birthday, according to the witness’ testimony. The abuse ended because he moved to Arizona following the death of his mother, the witness said.
A year later, he reported Valenti’s abuse to his guardians and his pastor, and the information made its way to the Phoenix Police Department in 2006, the witness testified. He said he was interviewed by the Phoenix Police Department but was not interviewed by authorities in California.
The witness said he spent years in therapy to help cope with Valenti’s abuse.
“I lost all of my high school years because I had to go to treatment,” the witness, now 21, testified.
At Friday’s preliminary hearing, Special Victim’s Bureau detective Timothy MacLean also testified. MacLean said that after deputies arrested Valenti on Aug. 6, they served a search warrant at his home and at his workplace –Caltrans in Sylmar.
MacLean said detectives found numerous pictures of young boys in Valenti’s computer, in his cell phone, in his bathroom, and framed throughout his house. Many of pictures were of the young boys listed in the complaint, MacLean testified. At Valenti’s workplace, detectives found a picture of one of Valenti’s victims taped to the inside of Valenti’s toolbox, MacLean testified.
MacLean was the last to testify in Valenti’s preliminary hearing.
Superior Court Judge, Christopher Estes, said he would consider all the evidence and rule Tuesday whether there is enough evidence to take Valenti’s case to trial.
Valenti was ordered back to custody on $2.25 million bail.