Soccer Coach Charged With Trafficking Teen Girls

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A California soccer coach has been arrested for human trafficking after he allegedly forced two teenage girls into prostitution.

Elan Seagraves, 34, of Sacramento, was arrested on Christmas Day after a 17-year-old girl called 911 to report that she had been trafficked and sexually assaulted, according to CBS.

Police arrived shortly after and went to the backyard where the teen said she was hiding. She told deputies that Seagraves was waiting in a car nearby. Police then found the soccer coach in a car with another underage girl.

"Mr. Seagraves was in the vehicle with another female, who we identified as a 17-year-old, as the Officers began the investigation they noticed that certain things weren’t adding up in regards to Mr. Seagraves and these two young girls," Sacramento County Sheriff Sgt. Shaun Hampton said.

Seagraves was arrested on felony charges of human trafficking of a minor, pandering, and false imprisonment, and was booked into Sacramento County Jail on a $2 million bond.

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Seagraves had worked at John F. Kennedy High School and other youth leagues as a soccer coach for boys, in addition to working as a driver for ridesharing services Uber and Lyft.

Seagraves had started the season as Kennedy High's soccer coach, the school's athletic director confirmed, reports The Sacramento Bee. According to the website MaxPreps, he had coached the West Campus boys' junior varsity soccer team in 2013, and the girls' junior varsity team in 2014. It's unclear if there were victims who attended the school.

Seagraves, who also has a teaching credential, is reported to have also worked as a substitute teacher and an instructional aide for the Sacramento City Unified School District.

"We are extremely disappointed in Mr. Seagraves’ unacceptable behavior," said Sacramento City Unified School District officials in a statement. "While he passed a background check and had no prior offenses when we hired him to coach soccer in our district, we expect more appropriate behavior from someone we trusted to work with our kids. Mr. Seagraves will no longer be allowed to work with our kids in any capacity."

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Lyft also issued a statement on Seagraves' alleged actions.

"These allegations are incredibly disturbing," said Lyft officials. "Our concern is with the victims, and we stand ready to assist law enforcement in any way that we can. As soon as we were made aware of this, we immediately disabled this individual’s Lyft account."

Seagraves previously pleaded no contest in 2003 to a misdemeanor charge for driving under the influence of alcohol. He received an informal probation sentence along with 48 hours in the Sheriff's Work Project.

"She shouldn't be in this position, you know," said one parent from the neighborhood from which the girl called police, according to KHTK. "Wow. Just wow."

"You can't even trust teachers no more or what?" added parent Maria Alvarez.

"It's important for parents to become involved in their children’s lives. And to know what they’re into and monitor their social media, monitor their electronic devices and monitor their behavior, and time they spend away from home," Hampton said.

Seagraves is set to return to court on Jan. 4 for a bail review on his charges. A settlement conference for Seagraves' case is set for Jan. 9. Investigators have asked anyone with information on the allegations to contact the sheriff's department.

Sources: CBS, KHTK, The Sacramento Bee / Featured Image: Armando Sobrino/Flickr / Embedded Images: Sacramento County Sheriff's Department via The Sacramento Bee, Michelle Milla/Flickr

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