A man who coached an after-school club fencing program on campus pleaded not guilty today to sex abuse charges stemming from an alleged inappropriate relationship with a high school student.
Vijay Prasad – who remains jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail – faces 11 years in state prison if convicted.
According to published reports, the defendant was a coach in charge of youth fencing classes in the recreation department at .
The alleged sexual abuse began when the girl was 15, and the victim came forward five years after the alleged sex acts.
According to the search warrant, a former La Jolla Country Day student told police Prasad had sex with her inside his car as many as 70 times, CBS 8 reported. The local station added that the girl said the sex acts happened in a parking garage underneath the La Jolla Village Square shopping mall.
A La Jolla Country Day official said Prasad ran the club sport on campus from 2002 to 2007 and has not been on campus since. In addition, the school said it ran a background check on Prasad prior to the start of the club on campus.
Prasad, 50, was charged Tuesday with 13 counts, including sodomy of a person under 16 by a person over 21 and lewd act on a child 14 or 15 years of age.
No new details were revealed at today's arraignment. Prosecutor Elizabeth McClutchey and defense attorney Thomas Warwick talked to Judge David Szumowski about the case at sidebar, outside of earshot of others in the courtroom.
Szumowski denied the prosecutor's request to increase Prasad's bail, but told the defendant to surrender his passport by Monday. A readiness conference was scheduled for Feb. 23 and a preliminary hearing for March 15.
– City News Service contributed to this post