High School Basketball Coach Accused of Underage Sex

A 43-year-old man who at one time coached a girls' basketball team was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old girl from another team, most recently at a Glendale motel, police said Thursday.

Erik Brandon Ross, of Los Angeles, was arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and eight counts of oral copulation with a minor, according to Glendale police.

Ross is married and has two children, said Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.
 
He was a temporary employee hired in November as assistant coach of the boys' basketball team at Franklin High School in Highland Park, said Ellen Morgan of the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has been fired, Morgan added.

Ross also coached an independent girls' club basketball team, Lorenz said.

The alleged victim is not a student at Franklin and was not on his team, Lorenz said.

On Jan. 24, Glendale police received a report that Ross "had engaged in sexual encounters with underage females," Lorenz said in a statement.

"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," Lorenz said.

Lorenz said Ross met the girl while coaching an independent girl's youth basketball team last summer, and she did not play on his team but was participating in a tournament. He said they exchanged phone numbers and began having a relationship, and that "in December of 2008, Ross took the victim to a motel in Glendale, provided alcohol and engaged her sexually over a period of time."

Ross is being held on $480,000 bail pending a scheduled appearance Friday in Glendale Municipal Court, according to the sheriff's department.

Police believe there is a "strong likelihood" that Ross was involved with other underage girls, and other possible victims were asked to contact Glendale police.

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