Youth fencing coach sentenced to five years in state prison
By City News Service
A youth fencing coach who pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges for having sexual relationships with two girls over the past decade was sentenced recently to five years in state prison.
Vijay Prasad, 51, of Carmel Valley, was also ordered by Judge Eugenia Eyherabide to register as a sex offender for life.
The defendant pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl between 2005 and 2007, starting when she was 14, and admitted sexually assaulting another underage girl 10 years ago, said Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth McClutchey.
Prasad pleaded guilty to five charges — including committing a lewd act on a child, oral copulation on a minor and sexual penetration with a foreign object — and he admitted an allegation of substantial sexual conduct.
Prasad was the after-school fencing coach at La Jolla Country Day School and also coached fencing through the recreation department at UC San Diego.
A young woman who was one of the victims said the encounter with the defendant ruined her relationship with her family and that she subsequently suffered from nightmares and depression.
“It’s taken many years to get back to normal places,’’ she said.
The mother of the other victim said her daughter came home at age 14, excited about fencing, and talked non-stop about her coach.
“She adored him,’’ the mother said. She added that both she and her husband were collegiate athletes and understood close connections with coaches.
However, Prasad breeched his trust with their daughter, resulting in a series of migraines, anxiety and depression that caused the girl to halt her college studies for two semesters, according to the mother.
It was only when she told authorities what had happened to her a few years earlier that she began to get better, according to the mother. She said her daughter has resumed her studies.
Neither Prasad nor his lawyer commented.