SWIM INSTRUCTOR SENTENCED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 15-YEAR-OLD STUDENT WHOM HE MET THROUGH COACHING


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 11HF0810






October 28, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486


SWIM INSTRUCTOR SENTENCED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 15-YEAR-OLD STUDENT WHOM

HE MET THROUGH COACHING

 

SANTA ANA – A swim instructor was sentenced today to 16 months in state prison for having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student. Todd Robert Sousa, 37, Irvine, pleaded guilty to a court offer to 13 felony counts of lewd acts on a child, three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, and two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In addition to his prison sentence, Sousa is also required to register as a sex offender.

 

At the time of the crime, Sousa co-owned and taught swim classes for Swim Venture, an Orange County-based swim school and program that offered lessons in leased pools for children and adults throughout the County.  

 

The defendant met 15-year-old Jane Doe while working as her swim instructor. He groomed the victim and had unlawful sexual contact with her, including kissing and touching her breasts and vagina over her clothes. Between April 1, 2010, and Feb. 18, 2011, Sousa escalated the unlawful sexual conduct including digital penetration, oral copulation, and sexual intercourse on several occasions. He sexually assaulted the victim in the Swim Venture office, an equipment closet, and in his car.

 

On Feb. 18, 2011, Sousa picked Jane Doe and her friend up from Irvine Spectrum and drove them to the Swim Venture office. He provided alcohol to both victims before taking Jane Doe into another room to have sex with her while her friend waited outside.

 

Jane Doe’s parents learned of Sousa’s unlawful sexual relationship from Jane Doe’s friend’s parents and contacted law enforcement.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case.

 

During the sentencing today, Jane Doe’s mother and step-father gave victim impact statements to the court. They said the defendant’s actions ruined their lives, and that their daughter was an avid swimmer and now she doesn’t want to swim and has been depressed.  

 

As a registered sex offender, Sousa is prohibited from entering County, Irvine, La Habra, Los Alamitos, and Westminster City parks without prior permission from the respective police departments because these municipalities recently enacted laws creating child safety zones to protect children from sexual predators in places where they regularly gather. Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills and Yorba Linda will be discussing the child safety zone ordinance at their city council meetings on Nov. 7, 2011, Nov. 8, 2011, and Nov. 15, 2011, respectively.  Several other cities are also in the process of developing their child safety zone ordinances. 

 

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