John H. Francis Polytechnic High School Coach Sexual Abuse
The Los Angeles District Attorney released the following information regarding Terry Terrell Gillard, a Sun Valley wrestling coach for the Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando Valley and John H. Frances Polytechnic High School. Gillard was charged with numerous accounts of sexual abuse related to multiple teens. The D.A.’s press release reads:
Sun Valley Wrestling Coach Charged with Child Molestation
JUNE 8, 2017–A 56-year-old wrestling coach at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley was charged today with more than two dozen counts relating to alleged sexual assaults of four students, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Cathy Lee said Terry Terrell Gillard (dob 4/21/61) of Sylmar faces 23 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child ages 14 or 15, two felony counts of attempted lewd acts upon a child ages 14 or 15 and one felony count of sexual battery by restraint.
Case PA088987 also includes four misdemeanor charges of child annoying.
Arraignment is scheduled this afternoon in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.
The alleged conduct occurred between 2014 and 2017 and involved minors the defendant met through the wrestling team, the prosecutor said.
Bail is requested at $750,000. Gillard faces 24 years in state prison if convicted as charged.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Juvenile Division.
How Coach Gillard Became a “Trusted Adult”
It appears that Coach Terry Gillard has been working closely with children and teens for a long time. The Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando Valley proudly credits Terry Gillard as one of the founders of the youth organization’s Tiger Wrestlers wrestling program, having established the youth wrestling program as a “Club Volunteer” in 1990. Coach Gillard is even quoted as promoting the Tiger Wrestlers as a “safe haven for the kids.” If Gillard is indeed guilty of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s charges, then his position as a trusted adult meets the standard profile of a child molester as defined by the FBI.
Boys and Girls Wrestling Coach
The John H. Francis Polytechnic High School has both boys and girls wrestling teams. The D.A.’s charges don’t specify if the minor victims in the case are male or female. But suffice it to say that Coach Gillard had regular access to girls and boys on a regular basis. Further, those children would have ranged in ages from 7-years-old to 17-years-old.
Anthony M. DeMarco, Southern California Sexual Abuse Attorney
As a California sexual abuse law firm we are seeing more and more coaches associated with schools and youth sports being arrested on sexual abuse charges. And in this case, Coach Gillard is associated with both a school and a youth serving organization. The Coach Gillard case is strong in that it carries a significant amount of charges as well as multiple victims. It is possible that there are more victims than the ones named in the above criminal case.
Do you suspect that your child might have been exposed to Coach Gillard? If so, you may want to call a Los Angeles child sexual abuse lawyer to help you understand your rights and to discuss the proper actions you should take to protect your family. An experienced lawyer can help answer the questions you might have about how to proceed.
We welcome you to explore the various resources and accountability indexes that we continuously maintain in our practice. Since child sexual abuse is our only legal focus, we are constantly researching past and present child sexual abuse cases. As a result, we’ve produced several Accountability Indexes. These indexes include lists of Teachers, Coaches, Youth Mentors, Police Officers, and Religious Clergy who have been either accused or convicted of child sexual abuse within their organizations.