HS coach accused of sexual contact with student

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 02:17:20-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - For the second time in four days, a man was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with an underage student while working as an instructor at Mar Vista High School.

Edward Aaron Mendoza, who worked as a walk-on assistant football coach at the Imperial Beach campus last fall, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon outside his current workplace in Chula Vista, according to sheriff's officials.

Mendoza, 27, is suspected of engaging in sex acts with the ninth-grade girl at the Elm Avenue school for roughly half a year.

The alleged crimes were reported after the student's father discovered that she was having "extensive phone conversations with Mendoza and was having an inappropriate relationship with him," Lt. Dan Brislin said.

"Detectives discovered Mendoza had fostered an ongoing relationship with the victim and engaged in sexual activity with her at school over a period of about six months," the lieutenant said.

Mendoza was booked into county jail on suspicion of multiple child-molestation counts.

The suspect has not worked at the school since December, when the campus football season ended, said Manny Rubio, spokesman for Sweetwater Union High School District.

On Saturday, detectives arrested Mar Vista ROTC instructor Martin Albert Gallegos, 48, for allegedly having sex with a 12th-grade female student on multiple occasions. Gallegos, a substitute teacher, was subsequently fired.

The two cases apparently are unrelated, Brislin said.

“We come to school just to learn and there are cops and news reporters here. It’s pretty crazy,” junior David Alvarez said.

“It’s a mystery in my head, I was like, did they do this? Would someone really do this to the kids?” sophomore Sebastian Lozano said.

“I don’t know if I could trust my teachers – it’s sort of weird,” Alvarez said.

Mendoza’s bail was set at $825,000.