Former school soccer coach to stand trial on molestation allegations

INDIO (CNS) - A 25-year-old man accused of inappropriately touching five young girls while employed as a soccer coach at a Thermal middle school must stand trial on several felony charges, a judge ruled Tuesday, Dec. 29. Juan Manuel Pantoja of Salton City was arrested in March for crimes he allegedly committed while working at Toro Canyon Middle School between August and November 2019. Following a preliminary hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Stafford Jr. found there was sufficient evidence for the defendant to proceed to trial. Stafford set the defendant's bail at $2 million and scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Jan. 12. Pantoja remains behind bars at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. The defendan
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