LANCASTER – Prosecutors have added even more victims to the child sex abuse case against longtime Antelope Valley soccer coach Renoir Valenti.
The count is now at 13 alleged victims, including five current or former players, according to published reports.
Valenti’s victims are all males who ranged in age from 5 to 15 when the alleged sexual abuse occurred, investigators said.
The incidents reportedly spanned a decade for one victim, and incidents with other victims occurred as recently as Aug. 6, The Daily News reports.
Valenti was a coach and referee in the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) for more than 16 years. Investigators believe the 50-year-old Quartz Hill resident used his position as a method to meet and befriend children, according to a Sheriff’s Department press release.
Authorities began investigating Valenti last month when the mother of a 9-year-old boy reported that her son had been molested; and during the course of the investigation, two additional boys under the age of 15 were identified as victims in the case, sheriff’s officials said.
Detectives arrested Valenti on August 6 at his residence in the 42900 block of 59th Street West, and he was charged on August 8 with two counts of felony continuous sexual abuse of a child and two counts of annoying or molesting a child.
During a court appearance on Aug. 20, prosecutors said Valenti had been trying to contact his victims. Valenti was served with a protective order barring him from having any contact with his alleged victims – which had increased to six at the time.
More victims have since come forward, and prosecutors filed new charges Thursday.
Valenti is now charged with five felony counts of continuous sexual abuse and eight misdemeanor counts of child molesting, according to court records.
Valenti pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his bail was reportedly increased from $1 million to $2.25 million on Thursday.
Valenti is due in court again on Sept. 20 for a preliminary hearing.