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Santa Ana boxing coach accuser's mom speaks out

July 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Orange County boxing coach accused of molesting two boys he helped train made his first court appearance on Tuesday, as the mother of one of the alleged victims spoke out.

Anthony Serrano, charged with sexually assaulting two boys he met through the Santa Ana Boxing Club, appeared for an arraignment hearing, but it was postponed to Aug. 3.

The mother of one of the accusers said her son revealed what happened to him on Saturday. She said she immediately went to police and found out that her son was the second accuser.

"My son is a very strong young man, and he's doing as good as possible under these circumstances," said the mother, who did not want to be identified. "I'm very proud of son."

She says her son suffered a nervous breakdown, and told her that Serrano had sexually molested him last July.

"He did try to resist many times, but he allowed it because at the club, he was in a leader position, and he felt like if he allowed it to go on with him, that he would protect the other children," she said.

Serrano, 45, was arrested on Sunday after police received the latest complaint. The mother of the alleged victim says even before all of this came to light, she was worried about Serrano's behavior with her son, and she went to the Orange County Youth Commission to report it. She claims she was ignored.

"He wouldn't even return my phone call," she said.

Police say Serrano was investigated in 2008 after a complaint about Serrano and inappropriate conduct involving a young teenage boy, who was also a member of the boxing club. The D.A. did not file charges at that time due to a lack of evidence. After these latest allegations, police looked at that case again.

Andrew De La Cruz and his father say they have known Serrano for years and could not believe the allegations against him.

"He's a great coach ... I don't see him doing that stuff ... I would never believe this," De La Cruz said.

But the mother of one of the alleged victims says she has seen what happened to her son and wants justice.

"Mr. Serrano was family to us. I trusted him with my most precious possession, and he violated us," she said.

Serrano faces four felony counts of lewd acts on a child. He is being held on $200,000 bail.

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