SANTA ANNA, Calif. — A former competitive cheerleading coach has been accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 11 in Southern California and faces similar charges in Florida, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Erick Joseph Kristianson, 44, of Antioch, Tennessee, was arrested last week in Fargo, North Dakota, on a warrant, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement. statement.
He was extradited to California and was being held without bond as of Wednesday, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s Department website.
It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to speak on his behalf. A message to the district attorney’s office asking if she had an attorney was not immediately returned.
In California, he is accused of sexually abusing girls ages 11 to 16 while coaching at the Magic All-Stars club, a competitive cheerleading club, and while he was an assistant cheerleading coach at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo in the 1990s. 2000, prosecutors said. . He faces 16 felony charges, including committing lewd acts with a child.
Kristianson could face a possible life sentence if convicted on all counts.
“This was not a predator hiding in the shadows waiting to snare innocent girls. He was hiding in plain sight as he assaulted one girl after another, thinking he would never get caught because they trusted him as a coach,» Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the statement.
In Florida, Kristianson faces child exposure and child molestation charges for allegedly exposing himself and masturbating during a FaceTime call to three girls, ages 11 to 13, that he trained in Daytona Beach and, on another occasion, allegedly fondling a man’s chest. 13-year-old girl who had been on the call, authorities said.
He was arrested last year in Kansas on a warrant and extradited to Florida, but he posted bail and was released, prosecutors said.