General Crime

* Sentencing Delayed for Ex Swim Coach Andrew King Convicted of Child Molest

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An unfinished psychiatric evaluation delayed the sentencing today of a longtime swim coach convicted of felony child molestation, causing bitter disappointment among the group of victims and families who had come to San Jose from around the country for the hearing.Andrew King, 61, was scheduled to be sentenced in Santa Clara County Superior Court today. The former head coach of the San Jose Aquatics swim team faces up to 42 years in prison for a combined 20 counts of lewd acts with girls 15 and younger, according to the district attorney’s office. However, King’s defense told Judge David Cena that a doctor’s report on the defendant was not ready yet, and requested more time so that document could be included in the record.”A lot of you, all of you, are going to be disappointed by my decision,” Judge David Cena told the assemblage of several dozen onlookers, consisting of King’s victims and their families. Many of them traveled from across the region, and some from across the country, to witness the sentencing. King coached swimming in the Bay Area for many years, including teams in Walnut Creek and San Ramon. Cena said “the court has to make sure the defendant’s due process rights are watched over” and that excluding this report from the record would make his decision vulnerable to being overturned in appeals court. As sheriff’s deputies led King out of the courtroom, several audience members yelled “scum,” prompting a warning that anyone making comments would have to leave the courtroom. King will return to court Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. “Barring some extraordinary circumstances, I expect sentencing will take place on that date,” Cena said. The judge heard several statements on behalf of King’s victims, including two women now in their 40s who said he molested them in the 1980s, and the father of the San Jose teen whose abuse led to King’s arrest on April 2, 2009. Many more victims were in attendance, including women who flew in from New York, Florida and Washington state, according to prosecutor Ray Mendoza. “They’re indicating to me the case is so important they’re going to fly back,” he said. Mendoza said the court is using “an abundance of caution,” but the decision is probably the correct one. “In order to make any conviction stand, we have to follow those rules,” he said. Mendoza said the defense “had several months to prepare” the report. “I think they feel the defense is kind of manipulating the situation,” he said of the victims. A San Jose woman and her 20-year-old daughter came to watch the proceedings. “We were hoping he would turn around and look at us,” the woman said.  All three of her children swam at San Jose Aquatic, she said, and found King’s excessive behavior uncomfortable. “My youngest daughter would come home crying because she wouldn’t want to go to swim practice,” she said. When her daughter’s regular coach was busy with another team, “She would never want to go swim with Andy,” she said. “He would always be rubbing on her shoulders.” The woman’s children spoke with authorities after reading initial news reports of King’s arrest.

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