Former coach denies sex with teen

April 13, 2009 10:30:39 AM PDT
A 43-year-old former Sonoma Valley youth soccer coach pleaded not guilty Monday morning in Sonoma County Superior Court to committing sexual acts with an underage girl on his traveling team.

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Gregory Vance Tatton was arraigned on five counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a girl under age 17 and five counts of oral copulation with a girl under age 18.

He is free after posting $150,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court again May 13 for a settlement conference. His attorney Ethan Balogh declined to comment on the felony charges.

Deputy District Attorney Jason Riehl told Judge Elliot Daum that Tatton is a flight risk and asked for a bail review. Daum kept the bail at $150,000.

Tatton, a Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association coach, was dismissed after his November 2007 arrest for having false registration tags on his vehicle, but there were rumors about his ongoing sexual relationship with at least one of the girl players, Sonoma County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Thompson said. The sheriff's department began investigating the allegations at that time.

The alleged victim was on the soccer association's traveling team for girls under age 17, which played as far north as Redding and as far south as San Diego, Thompson said.

Sheriff's detectives arrested Tatton April 3 at a home in West Hollywood. Tatton was staying with friends in the Los Angeles area, Thompson said.

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