Erick Joseph Kristianson, 44, “was hiding in plain sight as he assaulted girl after girl, thinking he would never be caught because they trusted him as a coach,” said Todd Spitzer, the district attorney of Orange County, California, in a statement released Wednesday.
The defendant was previously charged last year in the Sunshine State for allegedly exposing himself to three teenage girls on a FaceTime call and separately groping one of them. Kristianson, a coach at Champion Elite Legacy in the city of South Daytona, was reportedly fired shortly after being charged. He was later arrested in Kansas.
The prosecution in the Florida case is ongoing, with records showing he pleaded not guilty. California prosecutors said he bonded out on $300,000 without restrictions for leaving the Sunshine State state. That’s why he, now living in Antioch, Tennessee, was arrested last week in Fargo, North Dakota, on the warrant regarding these California charges.
In this new matter, one of the victims reached out after hearing about Kristianson’s arrest in Florida, according to Orange County prosecutors. She said the defendant molested her beginning when she was 14 and he was her cheer coach. Kristianson allegedly picked her up from school or took her home from cheer practice and sexually abused her until she turned 16.
Investigators determined he also allegedly abused five other Orange County girls he coached between 2002 and 2007. He routinely took some of them to off-campus events or his home, prosecutors said. Their ages ranged from 11 to 16.
One of the girls quit cheerleading after Kristianson molested her at home, but she did not report it at the time, the DA’s office wrote.
“Kristianson worked as a competitive cheerleading coach at Magic All-Stars from 2002 to 2008 and as an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School in 2005 where is accused of gaining access to six young girls that he molested in Orange County,” prosecutors wrote.
Authorities suggest there could be more victims, and they ask that anyone with information about that to call Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Austin Jones at 714-647-4016.
Kristianson is now held without bail at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange County, prosecutors said. His California charges are seven felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14, five felony counts of lewd act upon a child age 14 or 15, two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor under 18, one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor under 16, and one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 16 years old. He faces charges in Florida for lewd and lascivious exhibition and molestation.
“Thankfully, he is in custody and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything it can to ensure he is held accountable for assaulting these young girls who thought they could trust him,” Spitzer said.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]