(KTXL) — A former high school running coach was sentenced to prison by a Sacramento Superior Court judge on Jan. 27 for sexual assault of a minor.
According to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Aaron Daniel Rios was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison and he will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
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Rios was a former track and cross-country coach at St. Francis High School and for Sac Elite, a private running group. On Nov. 15, a jury convicted Rios of eight counts of sexual assault on a 15-year-old.
Rios met the victim in 2018 when she was 13 years old and joined the Sac Elite.
At the time of the conviction, the jury found that “the victim was particularly vulnerable and the defendant took advantage of a position of trust or confidence.”
Prosecutors said COVID-19 regulations and the school’s running program shutting down resulted in Sac Elite running in small groups in March 2020.
Due to Sac Elite running smaller groups, Rios began running with the victim during training sessions, where he got “access to her alone and gradually developed an inappropriate relationship with her,” according to prosecutors.
Rios downloaded an app on the victim’s phone that would delete inappropriate messages from him after they were received.
According to prosecutors, Rios kissed the victim on the mouth on July 2020, and told her that it would their “little secret.”
A separate incident took place later when Rios grabbed the victim from behind and forcibly held her and groped her. The victim tried to escape, but prosecutors said they were alone and Rios was bigger than her.
Rios allowed the victim to leave but told her to not tell anyone what happened.
Sacramento police officers arrested Rios on Aug. 18, 2020, following a report of inappropriate contact between a minor and an adult male. A “diligent follow-up” led by the detectives led to the arrest of Rios.