Former Franklin High football coach gets 36 years in prison for sexually abusing players

A former Franklin High School football coach was sentenced Friday to more than 36 years in state prison for sexually assaulting five boys.

Jaime Jimenez, 48, of Los Angeles, was a volunteer coach who assisted the full-time staff.

Authorities said that Jimenez’s abuse of young football players at the Highland Park high school stretched as far back as 2002 and that he actively pursued boys from then until his arrest in early 2015.

In November, Jimenez pleaded no contest to two felony counts each of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 years old and lewd acts on a child 14 to 15 years old, and to one misdemeanor count of sexual battery. He was originally charged with 32 felony counts.

Jimenez’s five victims ranged from 13 to 16 years old.

During a preliminary hearing last year, several underage and adult witnesses testified that, over 14 years, Jimenez gave them rides from practice, bought them gifts and regularly invited students to his house to play computer games and to watch movies and football on TV. They frequently slept over; sometimes he plied them with alcohol, they said.

He allegedly ratcheted up sexual contact, moving from touching to masturbation and sodomy. A fixture in the Franklin community, Jimenez knew some of his alleged victims when they were in elementary school; one testified that the abuse began when he was 9.

Vince Finaldi, the attorney for several victims who are suing the Los Angeles Unified School District, said school officials should have suspected inappropriate contact with one of his clients.

“Teachers and administrators would see him coming and going in (Jimenez’s) car, and they know that is against policy,” he said.

richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @lacrimes

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