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Former OC cheer coach charged with molesting 6 girls, some as young as 11

<i>Orange County District Attorney/KABC</i><br/>According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office
Lawrence, Nakia
Orange County District Attorney/KABC
According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office

By Web staff

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    SANTA ANA, California (KABC) — A former cheerleading coach in Orange County has been charged with multiple felonies for molesting six girls – some as young as 11 years old.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, 44-year-old Erick Joseph Kristianson of Antioch, Tennessee, allegedly molested the girls while coaching at a competitive cheer club and at a high school in Mission Viejo.

He’s also facing child molestation and child exhibition charges in Florida regarding four young cheerleaders he coached in Daytona Beach.

Investigators said the 44-year-old worked as a cheer coach for Magic All-Stars from 2002 to 2008 and as an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School in 2005. That’s where he allegedly had access to six young girls that he molested in Orange County.

“The allegations against Kristianson involving Orange County children athletes came to light in 2022 after he was arrested in Daytona Beach, Florida on suspicion of masturbating on camera to three children between the ages of 11 and 13 and touching the breasts of another 13-year-old girl,” read a statement released by the district attorney’s office. He posted a $300,000 bond and was released without any restrictions on leaving the state.

All of the Florida victims were students of Kristianson’s cheer club in Daytona Beach, officials said.

After news reports about Kristianson’s arrest began airing in Florida, a young woman contacted Orange County authorities, saying she was molested by Kristianson back when he was her cheer coach when she was 14.

Kristianson would allegedly pick up the girl from school or take her home from cheer practice and engaged in sexual activity with her until she turned 16.

“One of the girls quit cheerleading after Kristianson is accused of molesting her at his home, but she did not report the abuse at the time,” said the DA’s office.

Kristianson was arrested in Fargo, North Dakota last week on a felony warrant in connection with the Orange County case. He is currently being held without bail at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.

“Pedophiles will never stop stalking and grooming their prey unless they are stopped,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer in the statement. “This was not a predator hiding in the shadows waiting to grab innocent girls. He was hiding in plain sight as he assaulted girl after girl, thinking he would never be caught because they trusted him as a coach. Thankfully, he is in custody and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything it can to ensure he is held accountable for assaulting these young girls who thought they could trust him.”

The district attorney’s office said he’s facing the following charges:

7 felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14 5 felony counts of a lewd acts upon a child age 14 or 15 2 felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor under 18 1 felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign objection of a minor under 16 1 felony count of oral copulation of a person under 16 years old Kristianson is facing a maximum sentence of 105 years to life in prison plus five years and four months if he’s convicted on all charges.

The district attorney’s office said authorities believe there may be additional victims and are seeking the public’s help.

Anyone with information about additional potential victims is asked to call Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Austin Jones at 714-647-4016.

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