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Youth Coach Chris Flores Arrested, Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Minor

Doric SamAugust 11, 2022

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Chris Flores, a well-known youth coach based in Southern California, was arrested Thursday on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor.

Per ESPN's Kyle Bonagura and Paolo Uggetti, Flores was taken into custody in Bakersfield after a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Santa Ana Police Department. He had been under investigation after allegations surfaced of sexual misconduct involving underage girls.

Santa Ana police said a 14-year-old girl told them Flores "sexually assaulted her multiple times through the year in 2021." A 15-year-old girl was said to have made similar allegations to Riverside police.

The allegations stemmed from an audio recording posted on social media in which a voice police identified as Flores' can be heard trying to convince a young woman to go to the movies. After she declined his request to FaceTime, the voice responded, "We talked about this, dude. You gotta stop with the nos."

Bonagura added that this isn't the first time Flores has been accused of sexual assault:

Kyle Bonagura @BonaguraESPN

The arrest comes 13 years after a jury exonerated Flores of raping a close friend of his wife, who was the godmother of their son. <br><br>The woman told ESPN: "I knew this day was coming, but this is even worse than I thought."

Flores' attorney, Edward Welbourn, denied all allegations to ESPN on Wednesday and said that he couldn't confirm that the voice on the recording belonged to his client.

"Chris has been a coach, really a teacher and a mentor to kids in the community for many years and all of these allegations that have come out are very shocking to him," Welbourn said. "He absolutely denies any sort of inappropriate relationship or contact with any current or former athlete or student he's trained. All he's tried to do is help kids and move them on in their lives and their careers."

Flores and former NFL cornerback Jason David founded Rising Stars in 2017 and later created Stars Prep Academy, which "described itself as a co-op that provides elite sports performance training for middle school athletes," per ESPN.

David posted a video on social media Wednesday declaring that the company had severed ties with Flores. David also said he would support and cooperate with the police investigation.

"Never in a million years would I ever imagine releasing a public statement to address sexual misconduct allegations that involves Mr. Flores and our innocent little girls," David said. "I'm sick to my stomach. I'm disgusted. I'm outraged." He also encouraged anyone involved to continue to speak up, saying, "We will stand with you."

Kansas City Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, New York Giants cornerback Adoree' Jackson, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei are among the athletes listed by the company as being in the "Our Stars Family."

Flores' bail was set at $500,000 after he was booked in Orange County. No court date was provided in the initial reporting.

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