Former Assistant Coach Charged in Teen Sex Case

GLENDALE, Calif. -- A former high school assistant basketball coach was charged Friday with unlawful sexual intercourse and other sex crimes involving a 16-year-old girl.

Erik Brandon Ross, 43, of Los Angeles, was jailed in lieu of $280,000 bail pending arraignment Feb. 13 in Burbank Superior Court.

The married father of two, who was arrested Wednesday by Glendale police, is charged with four felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and eight felony counts of oral copulation of a person under the age of 18.

Ross was a temporary employee hired in November as assistant coach of the boys' basketball team at Franklin High School in Highland Park. He has since been fired, according to a Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman.

Glendale police received a report last Saturday that Ross had allegedly "engaged in sexual encounters with underage females," said Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

"The victim in the recent case is a 16-year-old female student/basketball player of a Los Angeles area high school and club team," he said.

According to Lorenz, Ross also coached an independent girls' club basketball team, and met the alleged victim last summer when she was participating in a tournament for another team.

The two exchanged phone numbers and began having a relationship, he said. In December, the sergeant alleged, "Ross took the victim to a motel in Glendale, provided alcohol and engaged her sexually over a period of time."

Police believe there is a "strong likelihood" that Ross was also involved with other underage girls, Lorenz said. Other possible alleged victims were asked to contact Glendale police Detective Eric Webber, 818-548-3106, or call a police tip line, 818-507-STOP.

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