The Ronald Regan State Building in downtown Los Angeles and home to the 2nd District Court of Appeals. Photo by John Schreiber.
The Ronald Regan State Building in downtown Los Angeles and home to the 2nd District Court of Appeals. Photo by John Schreiber.

A state appeals court panel on Thursday upheld a former youth soccer coach’s conviction for lewd acts with a child involving six boys he coached.

A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the trial court erred by allowing a nurse to testify about statements four of the boys made during sexual assault examinations about Jose Duarte’s conduct.

The justices also rejected a defense challenge to the 225-years-to-life sentence in state prison imposed on Duarte in April 2013.

“The trial court here relied not just on the age of the victims, but on the additional factor that Duarte had taken advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit the offenses,” the panel found in a 25-page ruling.

Duarte coached USA, an independent league team that practiced and played at locations including MacArthur Park and Vista Hermosa Park, authorities said.

The crimes — which involved six boys who were between 11 and 14 years old — occurred between May 2009 and June 2011 primarily in his apartment in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles or inside a van in the garage, according to Deputy District Attorney Rachel Moser Greene, who prosecuted the case.

Duarte was convicted in February 2013 of 20 felony counts of lewd acts with a child and five felony counts of showing harmful material to a minor.

City News Service

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