South Bay soccer coach arrested for allegedly assaulting a minor he met through coaching

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He was entrusted with coaching girls' soccer teams, but Wednesday night Marcial Gonzalez Jr. is behind bars. Morgan Hill police say the 27-year-old sexually assaulted one of his players, and now investigators are worried there could be more victims. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if additional victims come forward. It happens quite often in these types of cases,” said police sergeant Troy Hoefling.

Morgan Hill police investigators say Gonzalez met his victim while working as a part-time soccer coach for several schools in Santa Clara County. The alleged crime happened at a private residence sometime within the last two years. He was arrested Wednesday at his mother’s house without incident. One of the schools where Gonzalez coached is Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, where one coach expressed surprise at hearing the news.

“When you hear about that, it brings it home. Obviously he’s from Morgan Hill, from what I understand. It is disturbing and there seems to be an awful lot of that coming up,” said girls varsity coach Paul Nishimatsu as he oversaw a practice at Live Oak High School.

He said all coaches are required to go through background checks before interacting with child-athletes. He says coaches and girls are never alone in one-on-one situations outside of practice or games.

“It’s really surprising that something like that (Gonzalez) would get through,” said Nishimatsu.

In addition to Live Oak High School, Gonzalez also coached at Oak Grove High School in San Jose, and South Valley Junior High School in Gilroy. He also coached for the “Sentinel Soccer Club,” but officials there had no comment.

Officials for the East Side Union School District which encompasses Oak Grove High, say none of their students are involved, and that, “…We are shocked and deeply disturbed that this could happen. Mister Gonzalez has been relieved of his position.”

Officials say so far only one victim has come forward to report alleged sexual assault. But given Gonzalez has coached for at least four years at multiple locations around the county, they fear there could be more.

“Our goal is to get the information out there. And if there are additional victims we would certainly want to know about it,” said Sgt. Hoefling.

Marcial Gonzalez also worked as a Lyft driver. He’s currently being held in the main Santa Clara County Jail in downtown San Jose.

He’ll be arraigned either Thursday or Friday on one count of sexual assault of a minor. Anyone with information about him or is concerned their child may be a victim, is asked to call the Morgan Hill police, at (408) 779-2101.

KTVU reporter Jesse Gary contributed to this story