Former wrestling coach sentenced to 71 years in prison for abusing 9 youth in the San Fernando Valley

He abused young people between 1991 and 2017.

JEFF GRACE / Opinion

A former youth wrestling coach of the San Fernando Valley was sentenced Tuesday to pass 71 years in prison for sexually abusing youth athletes, prosecutors said.

Terry Terrell Gillard, 58, was convicted of 47 charges in total, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The 37 felony charges included 28 charges of forcing a child to participate in a lewd act, and multiple charges of lewd act against a child, as well as oral intercourse of a person under the age of 18.

Jurors also sentenced Gillard for 10 counts of child sexual abuse, prosecutors in charge of the case said. The trial lasted seven weeks.

The 71-year sentence given by the judge included the time the defendant has already served.

"Now Mr. Gillard must pay the price for what he did," Judge Hayden Zacky said. "He went from being a mentor to being a monster."

Between 1991 and 2017, Gillard abused nine young athletes, with whom I had a relationship through training at the John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, and the Boys and Girls Club in San Fernando.

The victims were seven boys and two girls, all between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of abuse.

Some of the victims showed up to give their testimony to the jury and talked about the impact the abuse had on their lives.

“Once you won our trust, you took advantage of us. You exploited us sexually. You did it and you have never shown any remorse for it. ”said one of the victims.

Gillard's lawyer said he has already appealed the jury's decision.

“Surely the verdict will be revoked on appeal. There was misconduct by the prosecutor throughout the trial, ”said lawyer Michael Levin.

For their part, the lawyers of the victims prepare to present civil cases.


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