SACRAMENTO -- A high school basketball coach accused of sexually assaulting a former student faced a judge Monday in Sacramento.
Thirty-two-year-old Stephen Calton was the head boys basketball coach at Foothill High School.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department says Calton is suspected of having oral sex with a minor, who was a student at the time.
“I had children here at the time that the allegations had started and didn’t know anything about it,” Nina Fitzgerald, whose grandchildren attend the school, told FOX40. “So, it's just ... it's sad.”
This isn’t the first time Calton has been in trouble.
The Twin Rivers Unified School District says Calton cleared his criminal background check when he was hired initially. But Calton was already on probation at the time of this arrest for charges back in 2016, including felony vandalism, felony burglary and misdemeanor battery against a person he had previously dated.
The school found out about the 2016 charges and he continued working there. Since it’s a personnel matter, the district says it can’t comment any further.
Instead, the school district issued a statement:
Consistent with Twin Rivers’ employment requirements, the individual in question cleared background checks prior to initial employment. The District was made aware in Sept 2017 about an arrest from May 2016, which did not involve anything relative to the students or staff in Twin Rivers Unified. The District, as is our standard practice, consulted with our legal counsel, and took action as allowed and in accordance with state and federal laws and Board Policy.
Since this is a personnel related matter, we are prevented from commenting further on specific items. However, the coach was immediately placed on administrative leave when the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department informed us about the current allegations of a former student. We will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation.
We want to assure the Twin Rivers Unified school community that the safety of our students is our highest priority, and we are fully committed to taking the necessary steps to protect students and staff. The district takes any concerns and complaints regarding the conduct of all employees seriously and will not tolerate inappropriate or unprofessional behavior of any kind.
“Something should have been done then,” Fitzgerald said. “He certainly shouldn’t have been around children.”
Friends of Calton in court Monday said he’s innocent until proven guilty.
“I just don’t want to jeopardize anything that has to do with this case,” a friend of Calton’s, who declined to give her name, told FOX40. “He’s a good man, I can tell you that.”
Calton was in jail Monday night. He has not been given an option for bail because he violated his probation status.
In court, he said he planned to hire his own attorney.