Sun Valley wrestling coach charged with sexually assaulting 4 students

SUN VALLEY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A high school wrestling coach in Sun Valley has been charged with more than two dozen counts related to alleged sexual assaults of four students.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office announced the charges on Thursday against Terry Gillard.

The 56-year-old from 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, one felony count of sexual battery by restraint and four misdemeanor counts of child annoying, according to the DA's office.

Gillard pleaded not guilty after he was arrested on Tuesday.

The charges against Gillard, who coached at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School, involve three boys and a girl, who he met through the wrestling team, prosecutors said. The crimes allegedly happened between 2014 and 2017.

Gillard was reassigned from the school pending the results of the investigation.

According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, Gillard worked as a campus aide and also served as the wrestling coach. LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King said the district is cooperating with the Los Angeles Police Department.

"The safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. While recognizing that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, these allegations are extremely upsetting, and we take them very seriously. We will remain vigilant in protecting our students from those who would do them harm. We expect every person in this district to fulfill their commitment to keep our students and schools safe," King said.

Gillard is due back in a San Fernando courtroom June 29, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

Bail was requested at $750,000. If convicted as charged, Gillard faces 24 years in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the LAPD.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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