A coach who has been released from his position at Bellflower High School was arraigned at Norwalk Superior Court on Monday. He pled not guilty to 20 felony counts related to alleged incidents of molesting his stepdaughter over a four year period.
Bryan E. Shepherd has been in custody since December on charges that he repeatedly performed sexual acts on the minor beginning when she was 13. Allegations include child molestation, unlawful sexual intercourse, and sodomy of a minor and sexual penetration by a foreign object. The defendant is being held on $1 million bail.
Bellflower High School officials emphasized that the acts did not occur on school grounds. Moreover, while Shepherd was a part-time coach at the school, he did not teach there. Often high schools hire coaches from outside their teaching staff to work with students when necessary. However, coaches have to be screened with the same process as teachers, substitutes, and aides, having their fingerprints taken and run to determine whether any felony convictions exist. Needless to say, if an individual has never faced charges, such a screening would produce a negative result.
If Shepherd is convicted, he faces significant prison time, particularly for the acts which occurred before the victim was age 14. It is important to keep in mind, however, that in the eyes of the law he is innocent until proven guilty.
If you are charged with child molestation, the consequences of a conviction can be dire. You may face jail or prison time, and may be required to register as a sex offender. It is vital that you secure the services of an experienced and competent attorney who will fight for you. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have spent more than 30 years defending clients charged with many kinds of criminal charges. Call us today for a consultation at (888) 280-6839.