Torrance Police Department car. Photo by John Schreiber.
Torrance Police Department car. Photo by John Schreiber.

A former assistant wrestling coach at North High School in Torrance is behind bars, facing 10 felony counts for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student.

Matthew Michael Bautista, 30, pleaded not guilty after being arrested Oct. 14 and is being held at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic in lieu of $380,000 bail, according to sheriff’s online jail records.

Bautista, a former student who had worked as an assistant walk-on coach at the school since August 2012, is accused of having a nine-month sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl who was on his team, beginning in February, according to the Daily Breeze.

The Torrance Unified School District immediately released Bautista from his walk-on coach duties with the district as soon as Torrance police notified the district that he was going to be arrested, according to a statement issued by the district.

Bautista pleaded not guilty to three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, six counts of oral copulation or sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of distributing or showing pornography to a minor, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Bautista is due back in a Torrance courtroom Dec. 6, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

His arrest came one day after former Torrance High School wrestling coach Thomas Joseph Snider, 48, of Torrance, was convicted of more than three- dozen sex-related charges involving 25 boys. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.

—City News Service

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