General Crime

* Gregory Tatton Former Soccer Coach Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association’s Arsenal Team,Held To Stand Trial For Sex With Teen Player

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A former Sonoma Valley soccer coach was ordered to stand trial this afternoon on 20 counts alleging he had a sexual relationship with an underage female player on his traveling soccer team in 2007.Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Arthur Wick upheld 20 of the 31 unlawful sexual conduct counts filed by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office against Gregory Tatton. Tatton, 43, former coach of the Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association’s Arsenal team, will re-enter pleas to the charges Nov. 9.After a preliminary hearing, Tatton’s attorney Ethan Balogh argued the prosecution had presented evidence regarding only 10 of the 31 charges. Deputy District Attorney Jason Riehl argued there is evidence to support 26 of the charges. Testimony by Sonoma County sheriff’s detective Jake Vivian, the only witness during the hearing, indicated Tatton and the girl had sex two or three times a week between June and Nov. 6, 2007, when the girl was 15 and 16 years old.Riehl told Wick the district attorney’s office “conservatively charged” Tatton, alleging there was unlawful sexual conduct only about once a week.The girl denied having a sexual relationship with Tatton when she was confronted by her mother in December 2007. Her mother became suspicious of the relationship because of text messages Tatton sent her daughter on her cell phone and an amorous birthday card he gave her for her 16th birthday in July 2007, according to Vivian’s testimony.During an interview at the Redwood Children’s Center in Santa Rosa on Feb. 2, 2008, the girl also denied having a sexual relationship with Tatton, Vivian testified. The girl said her parents and a counselor accused her of having a relationship with Tatton, Vivian said.Vivian said the sheriff’s department then suspended the investigation until January 2009 when the girl’s mother told him her daughter had changed her story. The girl then provided details of the alleged ongoing affair during interviews on Jan. 27, Feb. 16 and April 10 of 2009, Vivian said.Tatton was arrested in the Los Angeles area on April 3.Balogh said there are too many inconsistencies in the dates and numbers of the alleged sexual liaisons.He said Tatton had a mentor relationship with the girl and her mother over-reacted. He said the alleged victim was pressured and “finally says, ‘I’ll tell you want you want to hear.'””She’s all over the map. The most likely explanation is she’s lying. There’s no corroboration of evidence,” Balogh said.Riehl told the judge the sexual relationship lasted over several months and some of the exact dates “are rough and not exact.””There was continuous sexual intercourse until November 2007 when she was taken out of school. There’s no evidence of sex less than once a week,” Riehl said. “It’s not unusual for a molest victim to disclose (information) late. It doesn’t mean she’s lying,” Riehl said.

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