LANCASTER – Longtime Antelope Valley youth soccer coach Renoir Valenti was sentenced Friday to 130 years and eight months to life in state prison for molesting more than a dozen underage boys, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Valenti was also ordered to pay restitution to eight victims totaling $450,000 and to register as a sex offender for life.
“I am very happy with the sentence. The defendant will never, ever be able to harm another young boy,” stated Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami. “Justice has finally been served for all the victims and for the Antelope Valley community.”
The former American Youth Soccer Organization coach molested 14 young boys, including six of his soccer players, and a young girl. Valenti’s victims were between 8 and 12 years old, and the molestations occurred between 1995 and 2012, the prosecutor said. The investigation into Valenti began in July 2012, when a Lancaster mother reported that her young son was molested.
The 35-day jury trial for Valenti began Jan. 22, 2014. Over the course of the trial, jurors reviewed 140 exhibits and heard testimony from 58 witnesses, including all of Valenti’s victims.
The young boys’ stories were similar. They were drawn to Valenti because he lavished them with gifts and took them on trips; they often spent nights at Valenti’s home; and Valenti showered them with hugs and kisses, which then progressed to something more. The disturbing testimony on the sexual abuse ranged from accounts of genital fondling to attempted anal rape.
After four hours of deliberation, the jury found Valenti guilty on all 20 criminal charges, including five felony counts of continuous child sexual abuse, four felony counts of lewd act upon a child, six misdemeanor counts of child molesting, four felony counts of procuring and offering false or forged instrument, and one count of disobeying a court order.
Valenti’s victims speak out
At the sentencing hearing Friday, victims and parents gave heart-wrenching testimony on how Valenti’s actions had impacted their lives.
“I lost my childhood,” said a 23-year-old victim, who was five years old when Valenti began molesting him. The victim said he was still in therapy trying to cope with the ordeal.
“You literally ruined my life,” another victim told Valenti. The victim said he no longer looked at anyone the same, and he was unable to trust men.
The father of one of the victims cried as he spoke of the guilt he felt for not recognizing Valenti as a child predator.
“I live with that forever,” the father said.
The mother, whose young son triggered the investigation, also wept as she spoke of how her son was struggling to deal with “hopelessness and shame.”
“I have hope that I will never see your face again, because they don’t like child molesters where you’re going,” the mother told Valenti.
Another mother said she had forgiven Valenti because of her strong faith in God.
“I suggest that you repent,” the mother said to Valenti. “Hell is real and you are going there if you don’t repent your wicked ways.”
Valenti’s opportunity to address the court was cut short by the judge when he started off by saying that his trial was a “travesty of justice.”
Valenti was admonished for “making a mockery” of his victims’ statements and for failing to accept any responsibility for what his victims were feeling.
Valenti’s sister, however, gave a heartfelt apology. She said she knew nothing about her brother’s actions until she read about the trial in The AV Times. Raynord Haylock (AKA Valenti) had a comfortable upbringing and was raised in a loving family; but something obviously went wrong along the way, his sister said.
“I’m very sorry for you all, for what you’ve been through,” she told the victims. “I’m very, very sorry.”
Valenti has shown no remorse for shattering so many lives to satisfy his sick perversions, but he would have a lifetime in prison to think about it, Judge Daviann Mitchell explained.
“This is the day that these boys will be set free,” the judge said, before handing down the sentence.
Previous related stories: