Westlake High softball coach accused of sexually assaulting student

A Westlake High School softball coach has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student athlete, authorities said.

Thousand Oaks police received information about possible “unlawful sexual activities” on Wednesday and arrested Robert Garza, 37, the next afternoon, according to a police statement.
Detectives said they believed the alleged incident involving Garza and a female student occurred off school grounds while students were on spring break.

Garza, of Newbury Park, was booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility, where his bail was set at $100,000, authorities said. Ventura County sheriff’s jail records show he was released Friday.

The Ventura County Star reported reported that Garza had coached in the district for several years and was currently coaching girls junior varsity softball.

Authorities said the Conejo Valley Unified School District superintendent and his staff were cooperating fully with the police investigation. The superintendent told the newspaper he would take appropriate actions based on the legal developments.

Superintendent Jeffrey Baarstad told the Star that the school district learned of the allegations against Garza after it was contacted by police on Thursday.

“The allegations are something we are very, very disappointed in,” Baarstad told the newspaper. “We’re very disturbed by them."

He added that the district “will take whatever action necessary once we know what’s occurred.”
Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in locating any other possible victims, police said.

(Source: LATimes)


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