Casey Connaway, a tennis coach in Sebastapol, is facing criminal charges, following a two-month investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff's domestic violence/sexual assault detectives.
On October 26th, 2019, a Ventura County woman reportedly called the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department to report an illegal sexual relationship she allegedly had with Casey Connaway when she was only 15 years old. She was a tennis athlete, and Casey Connaway was her tennis coach. The lessons occurred at Rangle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastapol. Connaway allegedly coaxed the victim into an "unsolicited emotional relationship," which resulted in multiple sexual encounters. She came forward because, as an adult, she was concerned that there may be other victims, as Connaway was still an active tennis coach.
Following Connaway's arrest, the domestic violence/sexual assault detectives also obtained a warrant to search Connaway's house and car. During the investigation, detectives reportedly discovered a related incident with two other minor tennis students. In July 2017, two 16 year-olds complained to their parents that Connaway made statements that made them uncomfortable. They were part of a summer tennis camp, also coached by Connaway. Detectives took an informational report but determined that no crime occurred. Connaway was arrested for three felony charges: having sex with a minor, oral copulation with a minor, and sexual penetration with an object. He posted the $120,000 bail and was released the same day.
Predator coaches go to where the kids are
Connaway's case is not an isolated event. Unfortunately, there was another sexual assault case in 2019 involving a tennis coach, Normandie Burgos. Burgos lost his California teaching credential in 2011 for sexual misconduct at Tamalpais High School. He went on to open a private tennis clinic, Burgos Tennis Foundation. He was approved by the United States Tennis Association and its affiliate, USTA NorCal, as a USTA tennis coach. Shortly after his clinic opened, Burgos began grooming two of his private clinic students, both in their early teens. The victim, represented by attorney Robert Allard of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, said Burgos molested him and another student. The sexual assaults had caused the victims incredible suffering and shame, resulting in anxiety and depression. The case against Burgos, USTA, and USTA NorCal stem from the fact that Burgos was a sexual predator and should never have been able to be near children. USTA was negligent in their background checks with a known sexual predator, and as a result, Burgos harmed more students. Burgos received 255 years in prison for 60 counts of molestation.
Parents entrust teachers and coaches with their children. There is an expectation that children will be safe, yet sexual crimes from teachers and coaches continue to occur against students. Victims might feel ashamed and not want to talk about something that could get the coach or teacher in trouble. There is no shame in talking about it. Just like the previous victims' cases, they came forward because they did not want other victims to endure the pain they went through. The attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard have experience in helping sexual assault victims navigate the legal system. If you or a loved one have been a victim of sexual assault, call (408) 289-1417 for a free and confidential consultation.