A longtime Bay Area swim coach convicted of felony child molestation was sentenced to 40 years in prison in Santa Clara County Superior Court late this afternoon.The decision is just two years shy of the maximum possible sentence faced by Andrew King, 61, for a combined 20 counts of lewd acts with girls 15 and younger, according to the district attorney’s office.King is the former head coach of the San Jose Aquatics swim team, and coached for decades in Contra Costa County. While his convictions stem from instances involving three victims, two dating back to the 1980s, other women who identified themselves as victims have watched the proceedings closely. Women flew in from as far as New York and Washington state two weeks ago for his sentencing, only to have it be delayed because a psychiatric evaluation was not ready.Many of those women returned to the courtroom today,reacting emotionally to King’s sentence. his afternoon, the full courtroom heard more than two hours of testimony from forensic psychiatrist Paul Burton, who was hired by the defense. He told the court he spent nine hours with King on Dec. 14, administering six psychiatric tests.Burton said he diagnosed King with a disorder known as paraphilia, which he defined as a recurrent sexual arousing, urges or behavior toward females who “have begun the process of puberty but have not yet completed it.”While King’s case includes accounts of sexual encounters with girls as young as 10, Burton said these girls had “blossomed early” and appeared to be adolescent.King also exhibits narcissistic tendencies, Burton said. He cited a distant and disinterested father and said that when King lost his virginity at age 21, his partner, who was of a similar age, told him “he wasn’t using his butterfly muscles enough.”This remark was very mentally damaging to King, Burton said. “It’s a muscle used in swimming, ironically enough.”According to Burton, these factors all contributed to King’s attraction to younger females who “would likely be less able or willing to comment derogatorily on Mr. King’s sexual performance.”Burton testified that King was not seeking merely sex, but “full-blown dating relationships” with young girls that included dinner dates, love notes and “on a number of occasions he proposed.”The psychiatrist said he concluded King’s risk of repeat offenses without any treatment is “moderate to high.” He said treatment would significantly lower that risk, but state prisons only have the resources to provide adequate treatment to the most violent of sex offenders. King’s disorder makes him unable to see his actions as damaging, Burton said. The swim coach said in his psychiatric evaluation “nobody had sex with me who didn’t want to have sex with me.” Victims in the audience openly scorned such assertions. Defense attorney Jamie Harley told the judge she had received 45 letters in recent weeks from former swimmers and their families, filled with words of praise for King and his coaching and his commitment to their success. A visibly emotional Harley told an audience of victims and families that King is a good person who suffered some damaging experiences in life.However, prosecutor Ray Mendoza today called King a “monster” and said that in his 12 years of prosecuting sexual offenders King is “one of the worst ones I’ve come across.”Mendoza read two letters on behalf of victims. One former swimmer wrote she once dreamed of the Olympics and told King, “you stole my dreams, my goals and my childhood.”Judge David Cena said he considered King’s diagnosis and his passion as a swim coach, but also the violation of his role as an authority figure in deciding upon a sentence. He said he did not think treatment would be appropriate.
He addressed the women in the audience, referencing some victims’ statements that they feel guilty they did not come forward sooner.”I hope you can put these feelings aside and remember, you were a child and you were victimized,” he said.
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