Youth boxing program continues in wake of molestation arrest of veteran coach.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
The teen alleging Salinas boxing coach Daniel Lujan molested her has heard from a few skeptics, but police say that’s typical in these cases.
“We have had at least one call vouching for his character, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” says Henry Gomez, investigations sergeant with Salinas Police Department. “This isn’t a situational thing. It was a very deliberate thing.”
On May 24, Lujan, a veteran coach, was arrested following a police interview.
On May 7, a 14-year-old girl reported to police that Lujan has touched her inappropriately on many occasions while applying a skin cream called Albumin, touching her breasts and buttocks and attempting to touch her crotch.
The girl had been training with Lujan at the boxing club at East Salinas’ Closter Park and alleges the touching had gone on for a few years. According to the victim, Lujan told her that he wanted to have a sexual relationship.
Lujan was in the process of remodeling the boxing center, part of a larger project by Salinas Rotary Clubs to clean up Closter Park, as the Weekly reported May 17.
Salinas Rotary member Doug Brown says while the Lujan arrest is a tragedy, the project is on track to open June 30. The boxing center is still open for kids as well. Lujan’s assistants have taken over training.
“The (boxing) center has been open more without interruption,” he says. “The staff will be talking with the kids about what happened.”
Gomez says only one alleged victim has come forward, but he wouldn’t be surprised if there were more.
“We would be negligent if we didn’t ask with what we know about predators,” he says. “We can’t take it for granted that there was only one victim.”