Santa Ana police arrested a 45-year-old local boxing gym owner on suspicion of sexually abusing two 13-year-old girls, one of them while she was training at the facility, authorities said Thursday.
Edgar Ferraez Rivera, owner of So Cal Boxing Academy, was booked into Orange County Jail on $500,000 bail on Thursday, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
Investigators believe there could be other victims out there since the two known victims are girls of the same age, Santa Ana Police Corp. Anthony Bertagna said. Rivera often trained female boxers including underage girls, according to police.
“We believe the possibility that there are children out there that may be additional victims,” Bertagna said. “So if you had your daughter training there, we encourage parents to sit down with those daughters, and have a conversation and see if, in fact, they have been an additional victim.”
One of the two cases stems back to 2017, police said.
“In 2017, Rivera was reported to have sexually molested another 13-year-old girl,” the department said in a news release. “That incident did not occur at the boxing academy.”
“Police were called to investigate and Rivera was ultimately arrested, however he was not prosecuted at that time,” the release continues.
KTLA has reached out to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for comment on why prosecutors did not file charges against Rivera at the time. So far, Rivera has been arrested in connection with both cases but not charged.
Police said the more recent case also involved a 13-year-old child. It’s not clear when police learned of the most recent allegations.
“The victim, a 13-year-old girl, reported that Rivera sexually molested her while she was training at the boxing academy,” the news release stated.
Rivera appears in several photographs and videos posted on the Instagram account for So Cal Boxing Gym, sometimes alongside well-known boxers such as Oscar de La Hoya. In a video posted to the Facebook page for de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, the iconic boxer speaks at an event where Rivera hands out awards to children wearing T-shirts with the gym’s logo.
In many other images, Rivera is seen training young children in boxing.
One post on the Instagram page reads: “Our girls are fierce and mighty! Our facility is open to all ages and abilities.”
Anyone with information or any other potential victims are urged to reach Detective Nick Vega or Officer Matthew Thomas at 714-245-8368, email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.