Ex-San Fernando Valley Wrestling Coach Gets 71 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing 9 Young Athletes

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A former San Fernando Valley youth wrestling coach was sentenced on Tuesday to 71 years in prison for sexually abusing juvenile athletes, prosecutors said.

Terry Terrell Gillard, 58, of Sylmar was found guilty back in May of 47 total counts, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The 37 felony charges included 28 counts of procuring a child to engage in a lewd act, and multiple counts of lewd act upon a child, and oral copulation of a person under 18.

Jurors also convicted Gillard of 10 misdemeanor counts of child molestation, prosecutors said back when he was convicted. The trial lasted seven weeks.

The 71-year sentence handed down by the judge included credit for time served.

“And now Mr. Gillard must pay the price for what he has done,” said Judge Hayden Zacky. “Mr. Gillard … did transition from mentor to monster.”

Prosecutors previously said the defendant faced a maximum sentence of 82 years in prison.

Between 1991 and 2017, Gillard abused nine young athletes whom he met through coaching at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley and at the Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando, according to a DA’s news release from May.

The victims were seven boys and two girls, all between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of the abuse.

Some of the victims  emotional impact statements in court prior to sentencing.

“And once you gained our trust, you took advantage of us. You sexually exploited us. You did so, and have never shown any remorse for it,” said one victim.

Gillard’s attorney told KTLA he has already repealed.

“Reasonably certain that the verdict will be reversed on appeal. There was prosecutorial misconduct throughout the trial,” said attorney Michael Levin.

Attorneys for the victims, meanwhile, are now focusing on civil cases.

Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect number of counts against the defendant. This post has been updated. 

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