A North County youth volleyball coach pleaded not guilty Friday to felony charges of having sex with three teenage girls, authorities said.
By CHRIS NICHOLS - Staff Writer Friday, January 23, 2009 6:33 PM PST ∞
Steven Antony, 39, of Carlsbad, faces between three and 10 years in prison if convicted of all 23 charges against him, said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Stark.
Bail for Antony was reduced from $1 million to $700,000 during the arraignment held at the Vista Courthouse. He remained in custody as of Friday afternoon, records show.
Antony was the director of the now-defunct Vista-based Sunstorm Volleyball Club. He is on paid leave from San Pasqual High School in Escondido, where he had served as the girls and boys volleyball coach and a special education teacher since 2004, said Steve Boyle, assistant superintendent for human resources at the Escondido Union High School District.
District officials placed Antony on leave after learning about a Sheriff's Department investigation of the teacher, Boyle said.
The charges allege Antony had unlawful sexual intercourse with one of the three minors and sexually molested all three while they were under the age of 15.
The alleged abuse dates to 2001, and two of the victims are now adults, sheriff's Sgt. Hank Turner said.
"It's definitely a pattern of behavior," he added.
None of the victims is associated with the high school or high school team, Turner said. Most of the suspected crimes took place in the Vista and Carlsbad areas, he said.
Boyle, the district administrator, said Antony had been coaching San Pasqual High's girls varsity volleyball team last fall until he was placed on leave.
Anyone with information about Antony or aware of any inappropriate relationships with minors is urged to call the Sheriff's Department's Child Abuse Unit at (858) 974-2310.
Contact staff writer Chris Nichols at (760) 740-5426 or firstname.lastname@example.org