Livermore soccer coach accused of molesting child found not guilty

A 28-year old Livermore youth soccer coach accused of molesting a child was found not guilty by a jury on Thursday.

He and his attorney are speaking out about the case and the need for better investigations into molestation accusations.

Jesse Schlicker says he's relieved that he can now move forward, but acknowledges his life will never be the same.

The former soccer coach tells KTVU he loves playing music, including drums. He's getting his rhythm back after a dark year and a half, dealing with an accusation by a 10-year-old girl that he molested her.

"It's been an incredible weight lifted off my shoulder after a so much time," said Schlicker.

He hopes to pursue a master's degree in audio engineering now that the verdict is in regarding the student he coached in soccer.

Still, he says the ordeal will never be completely over.

"The stigma is a really big concern of mine and it still is. It forever will be," said Schlicker.

He says he took a coaching job at Carbernet Indoor Sports after graduating from college as a way to make some money while looking for work in audio engineering.

But on July 22, 2014 in the lunchroom area of the mezzanine, Schlicker's accuser said he touched her inappropriately.

The coach was arrested that night.

Schlicker says the student's motive may have been to get out of playing soccer.

"She was not clicking with kids. She was being teased out on the soccer field and off the soccer field where it hurts even deeper," said Schlicker.

The jury deliberated for an hour and a half before finding Schlicker not guilty.

"I have no idea how it got to the point where a trial was needed to be found not guilty," said Schlicker.

"There has been a real problem with the quality of investigations in the area of child molestations and this is one of the worst examples I've seen," said Patrick Clancy, Schlicher's attorney.

Clancy says this case was investigated by an inexperienced detective who lacked the proper training.

"There were 21 witnesses within a few feet of where this allegedly occurred and the detective interviewed none of them," said Clancy.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office said in a written statement in part, "This office is dedicated to ensuring the rights and safety of child crime victims.”

“This past year has shown I can still make friends. I can still work," said Schlicker.

The former soccer coach was out on bail and worked at a restaurant while awaiting trial.

Now he’s optimistic. “My life is starting today." Schlicker says the unwavering support of family and friends has kept him strong.

He has no plans to ever coach kids again.