LANCASTER — A 38-year-old man who coached the girls’ varsity basketball team at Palmdale High School has pleaded no contest to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student player, authorities announced.
Marcus Williams pleaded no contest Tuesday to seven felony sex crimes, including contact with minor for sexual offense, meeting a minor for lewd purposes, possession of child or youth pornography, lewd act upon a child, oral copulation of a person under 16 and two felony counts of activity involving material depicting sexual conduct, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami.
A no contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
Williams will face four years and eight months in state prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for March 16 at the Antelope Valley Courthouse in Lancaster, the prosecutor said.
Additionally, Williams will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and will be served with a 10-year protective order prohibiting him from having contact with the victim.
“Due to the fact that the victim was non-desirous of prosecution and non-cooperative, the District Attorney’s Office is very pleased that, at arraignment, the defendant pled to seven felonies, will serve time in state prison, and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life,” Hatami stated. “The defendant took advantage of a 15-year-old girl and he violated the trust of the Palmdale community and Palmdale High School. The community and Palmdale High School student players are a little safer now that the defendant will be held responsible for his actions.”
On Jan. 7, Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies discovered Williams and the victim in a vehicle parked on the side of the street, the prosecutor said. Numerous naked and explicit photographs and videos of the victim were discovered in Williams’ cell phone as well as sexual conversations with the teenage victim via text messaging and social media, the prosecutor added.
Williams was originally charged with 15 felony counts, and the complaint alleged that the sex crimes took place on Jan. 7 and between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31.
In exchange for his no contest plea, the remaining eight felony counts against Williams are expected to be dismissed at sentencing on March 16.
Williams previously served as an assistant girls’ varsity basketball coach at Paraclete High School in 2012 before coaching the girls’ varsity basketball team at Palmdale High School.
Paraclete officials did not return calls for comment on Marcus Williams. The Antelope Valley Union High School District also did not return calls about Marcus Williams’ tenure at Palmdale High School.
In a statement to NBC Los Angeles, the school district said it was “addressing it as a personnel matter in accordance with state law and district policy.”
Williams has been jailed since his Jan. 8 arrest, with bail set at $500,000.
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