SACRAMENTO (KTXL) — A soccer coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento has been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, the sheriff’s department said Friday.
Investigators say deputies got a call early Christmas morning from a teen girl who said she was the victim of sexual assault and human trafficking. She told deputies she was hiding in the backyard of a home along Clover Manor Way in South Sacramento, and the man forcing her into performing sex acts was waiting for her nearby.
The teenager knocked on Vihn Ta’s door in South Sacramento.
“I didn’t see no tears in her eye but she was scared,” Ta said.
Ta says when the 17-year-old girl came to his home at 3 a.m. she was already on the phone with a police dispatcher. He let her inside to wait for police and when officers arrived he overheard her recount a disturbing tale.
“She was human trafficked by her pimp, her pimp was chasing her,” Ta said.
The girl said the pimp was waiting in a car nearby. Sacramento Sheriff’s investigators say they found 34-year-old Elan Seagraves in the car with another 17-year-old and determined both girls were victims of human trafficking.
“It’s absolutely 100 percent alarming,” said Shaun Hampton with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.
Friday morning, Seagraves was still listed as the men’s junior varsity and varsity soccer coach for Kennedy High School but was removed in the afternoon. Deputies say Seagraves is also a coach and referee in some local youth soccer leagues, as well as an Uber and Lyft driver.
The sheriff’s department says there was no indication his allegations are connected to his role as a coach or driver, but they are concerned about the possibility of more victims.
“We want to encourage, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of any other things they may be involved in, it’s important to come forward,” Hampton said.
The Sacramento City Unified School District responded to the arrest in a statement sent to FOX40 Friday:
“We are extremely disappointed in Mr. Seagraves’ unacceptable behavior. While he passed a background check and had no prior offenses when we hired him to coach soccer in our district, we expect more appropriate behavior from someone we trusted to work with our kids. Mr. Seagraves will no longer be allowed to work with our kids in any capacity.”
Seagraves was booked into Sacramento County Jail on human trafficking charges. He is being held on $2 million bail.
He will be in court Jan. 4 for bail review and then again on Jan. 9 for a settlement conference.
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