By SHEL SEGAL
ALHAMBRA – Prosecutors said that a Mark Keppel High School student “often did not consent to physical advances” made to her by the school’s former girls basketball coach, according to a published report.
In a story published on Wednesday in the Pasadena Star-News, text messages between the student, who was 15 years old when the alleged abuse began, and the former Aztec coach, Joseph Alan Kikuchi, 57, were read aloud in court on Tuesday by deputy district attorney Rena Durrant at Kikuchi’s preliminary hearing.
Kikuchi faces “23 counts of sexual abuse and child molestation for allegedly abusing the girl, a member of Kikuchi’s team, multiple times between February and September 2015,” the published report said.
The Alhambra Police Department recovered more than 52,000 text messages from the girl’s phone, the report said, which added many were examined during the hearing, the published report said.
“In describing the physical nature of their relationship, the girl writes, ‘if I say stop please stop, ok. I know it’s love but still,’ to which Kikuchi allegedly replies, ‘ok, but don’t say stop because I won’t all the time,’” the published report said.
Kikuchi, however, allegedly acted aggressively in one text message when the student attempted to end their relationship, the published report said.
“‘Don’t piss me off,’ one of the messages read. ‘If you do this, I will move up other girls (on the team),’” the published report said.
“In the message, Kikuchi allegedly threatened to take back a number of items, including clothes, jewelry and money he had given the girl. ‘Don’t push me because I’ll get ugly as (expletive). OK? Don’t push me,’ the message continued,” the published report said.
Mia Yamamoto, Kikuchi’s attorney, did not comment on the case when asked to, the published report said.
Kikuchi’s motion to dismiss to dismiss the charges were denied by Superior Court Judge Michael Villalobos. Conversely, enough evidence was found to a Nov. 1 arraignment hearing when Kikuchi, Keppel’s girls basketball coach for three seasons, can enter his plea. Kikuchi resigned his position on Sept. 15, 2015 and was arrested nine days later after an “Alhambra Unified School District notified them of rumors that he had an “intimate” relationship with a student,” the published report said.
Kikuchi’s arraignment is slated for 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 1 with Judge Jared Moses in Department T at the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Alhambra Courthouse presiding.