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Calif. Cheer Coach Erick Joseph Kristianson Arrested on Charges of Sexually Abusing Young Girls

A competitive cheerleading coach who had been accused of exposing himself to teenage girls in Florida and fondling another girl has now been accused of molesting six young athletes as young as 11 in California, authorities say.

A competitive cheerleading coach who had been accused of exposing himself to teenage girls in Florida and fondling another girl has now been accused of molesting six young athletes as young as 11 in California, authorities say.

Erick Joseph Kristianson, 44, of Antioch, Tenn., was arrested Monday in Fargo, N.D., on a warrant for allegedly molesting six girls while coaching at a competitive cheer club and a high school in Mission Viejo, Calif., according to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

Kristianson is charged with seven felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14; five felony counts of a lewd acts upon a child age 14 or 15; two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor under 18; one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign objection of a minor under 16 and one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 16 years old, Spitzer said in the statement.

Kristianson faces a maximum sentence of 105 years to life plus five years and four months if convicted on all charges.

He has been extradited back to California, where he is being held without bail, online court records show. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 26. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

“Pedophiles will never stop stalking and grooming their prey unless they are stopped,” Spitzer said in the statement.

“This was not a predator hiding in the shadows waiting to grab innocent girls,” he said. “He was hiding in plain sight as he assaulted girl after girl, thinking he would never be caught because they trusted him as a coach.

“Thankfully, he is in custody and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything it can to ensure he is held accountable for assaulting these young girls who thought they could trust him.”

At the time of Kristianson’s arrest for the Orange County charges, he was out on bail on alleged child molestation and child exhibition charges related to four young competitive cheer athletes he coached in Daytona Beach, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Spitzer said in his statement that the allegations against Kristianson involving the teens in California “came to light in 2022 after he was arrested in Daytona Beach, Florida, on suspicion of masturbating on camera to three children between the ages of 11 and 13 and touching the breasts of another 13-year-old girl.”

All of the Florida alleged victims were students of Kristianson’s competitive cheer club in Daytona Beach, the statement said.

After news reports about Kristianson’s arrest in Florida surfaced, a young woman contacted Orange County authorities to allege she was molested by Kristianson beginning when she was 14 years old while he was her cheer coach, according to Spitzer’s statement.

Kristianson is accused of “picking up the girl from school or taking her home from cheer practice and engaging in sexual activity with her until she turned 16,” it said.

Kristianson worked as a competitive cheerleading coach at Magic All-Stars Cheer in Anaheim from 2002 to 2008 and as an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo in 2005, where is accused of gaining access to six young girls that he allegedly molested in Orange County, according to Spitzer.

Kristianson is accused of molesting five other Orange County girls he coached between 2002 and 2007, routinely taking some of the girls to off-campus events and to his home where he would molest them, according to authorities. The girls ranged in age from 11 to 16 years old. One of the girls quit cheerleading after Kristianson allegedly molested her at his home, but she did not report the alleged abuse at the time.

In August 2022, Kristianson was arrested in Kansas on a warrant and extradited back to Florida to face charges for exposing himself to three teenage girls during a FaceTime call.

That month, he posted a $300,000 bond and was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail in Florida without any restrictions on leaving the state, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Kristianson is currently being held without bail at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.

Authorities believe there may be additional potential victims. Anyone with information about additional potential victims is asked to call Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Austin Jones.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi has represented hundreds of child sexual abuse victims .We successfully represented the victims of celebrity Cheer coach Jerry Harris in a lawsuit against Varisty Spirit and the U.S. All Star Federation,  We were the lead attorneys helping sexual abuse victims in recover $852 million from the University of Southern California.  We are also the lead attorneys representing Olympic athletes and victims of former US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar and secured $890 million in settlements for our clients. We secured a $243.6 million settlement on behalf of sexual abuse victims at UCLA.In each of these cases we have helped victims and families get justice by conducting a thorough investigation of the organization and the school . We secured a settlement of $140 million on behalf of 81 child sexual abuse victims at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. This was the largest child sexual abuse settlement by a public school district in history. In many cases we have discovered that administrators and executives know that the perpetrator was a danger to children and either did nothing or actively covered up the crimes.

Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is regarded as America's leading law firm for sexual abuse cases. As a firm that exclusively handles sexual abuse cases, our California law firm offers experienced representation to obtain justice for sexual abuse survivors, harassment, and discrimination.

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