A prominent youth sports coach and trainer in Orange County was arrested in Bakersfield on Thursday on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor, a spokesperson for the Santa Ana Police Department said.
Chris Flores, 37, of Bellflower was arrested around 11:30 a.m. with the assistance of Bakersfield police. He was scheduled to be transported to the Santa Ana Police Department for booking, said Sgt. Maria Lopez of Santa Ana Police. Lopez added that Santa Ana Police received a tip that Flores was in the Bakersfield area.
Flores, known to many in the high school football scene as “Coach Frogg,” was arrested one day after STARS SOCAL and STARS Preparatory Academy issued a statement on their Instagram pages that it had “severed all ties” with Flores and was cooperating with an investigation by the Santa Ana Police Department.
STARS stated that several allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors had been brought against Flores. Lopez said an investigation into Flores’ alleged sexual assault of a minor began last week.
Lopez said Thursday that the investigation has found that a 14-year-old female was allegedly sexually assaulted by Flores over the course of last year. “Several” of the alleged assaults might have occurred at Calvary Chapel High School and other locations in Santa Ana, Lopez said.
The investigation also identified another possible victim, a 15-year-old girl who has made contact with Riverside County Sheriff, Lopez said.
Edward Welbourn, Flores’ Newport Beach-based attorney, said Flores has not been charged in the case and called the allegations “shocking” and “disappointing.”
“Chris has been a coach and mentor to kids in this community for many years,” Welbourn, a former Orange County Deputy District Attorney, said in a statement. “He absolutely denies any inappropriate relationship or contact with any current or former athlete or student. All he has tried to do is help kids move forward and achieve their dreams.”
STARS SOCAL has listed the address of Santiago Charter Middle School in Orange on its website for booking a training session.
The company’s Instagram page states it prepares athletes “for success on and off the playing field.” STARS Academy states it serves student-athletes with on-site education.
In recent years, STARS has been linked to several high-profile Southern California high school football players, including some that reached the NFL. Flores has stated that STARS’ clients range from junior high athletes to professional players.
“We’ve built an atmosphere and culture where we will have a junior high school (athlete) working with a college guy,” Flores once told a popular recruiting website. “It’s beyond rewarding. What’s cool is watching so many kids from Southern Cal come through our program.”
ESPN reported Thursday that in 2009, Flores was arrested while coaching at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles on alleged rape and sodomy charges of a 21-year-old woman in Pasadena. He was found not guilty after a 17-day trial.