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Keppel Coach Pleads 'No Contest'

  • By David Barron

Former Mark Keppel High basketball coach was convicted of sexually assaulting a female player, Wednesday (1-11-17) in Superior Court. Joseph Kikuchi, 57, pleaded "no contest" to 23 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and now will face sentencing, according to press reports.

Kikuchi will be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is schedule next month. He faces a maximum of more than 19 years in prison.

Kikuchi was accused of having unlawful sexual contact multiple times with a student on his basketball team when he was arrested in September 2015. At that time, the victim was 15 and 16  years old.

Kikuchi was a well-known and respected basketball coach. At a previous l hearing, the court received dozens of letters of support for Kikuchi. 

The L.A. Times reported that at a preliminary hearing in November 2016, prosecutors introduced more than 52,000 text messages that Kikuchi had exchanged 52,000 text messages.

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