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Orange County, CA – A former cheerleading coach has been charged with multiple felonies for allegedly molesting six girls, some as young as 11 years old.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, 44-year-old Erick Joseph Kristianson is accused of sexually abusing the girls while coaching for Magic All-Stars and while assistant coach at Trabuco Hills High School, located at 27501 Mustang Run, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.

Kristianson is also facing child molestation and child exhibition charges in Florida, where he allegedly molested four young cheerleaders he coached in Daytona Beach.

CA Abuse Allegations Uncovered After Cheer Coach Arrested in Florida

The allegations against Kristianson in Orange County 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 a 13-year-old girl. He posted a $300,000 bond and was released without any restrictions on leaving the state.

After news reports about Kristianson’s arrest in Florida began airing, a young woman contacted Orange County authorities in California, saying she was molested by Kristianson when she was 14 years old while he was her cheer coach.

Alleged Child Sex Abuse Occurred During Coaching Sessions

Investigators said the 44-year-old worked as a cheer coach for Magic All-Stars from 2002 to 2008 and as an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School in 2005. It was during these times that he allegedly had access to six young girls that he molested in Orange County.

Kristianson would allegedly pick up the girls from school or take them home from cheer practice and engage in sexual activity with them. One of the girls quit cheerleading after Kristianson allegedly molested her at his home, but she did not report the abuse at the time.

Kristianson, Suspected Child Sex Abuser, Arrested in North Dakota

Kristianson was arrested in Fargo, North Dakota, in early May 2024 on a felony warrant in connection with the Orange County case. Hewas held without bail at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.
“Pedophiles will never stop stalking and grooming their prey unless they are stopped,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This was not a predator hiding in the shadows waiting to grab innocent girls. 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.”

Cheer Coach Facing Extensive Charges and Potential Lengthy Sentence

Kristianson is facing a total of 16 felony charges, including 7 counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14, 5 counts of lewd acts upon a child age 14 or 15, and various other sexual assault charges. If convicted on all charges, he could face a maximum sentence of 105 years to life in prison plus five years and four months.

Authorities Searching For Additional Victims of Coach Kristianson

The district attorney’s office said authorities believe there may be additional victims and are seeking the public’s help. Anyone with information about potential additional victims is asked to call Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Austin Jones at 714-647-4016.

Holding Predatory Cheerleading Coaches Accountable

In the wake of the disturbing allegations against former cheerleading coach Erick Joseph Kristianson, who has been charged with multiple felonies for sexually abusing young athletes in Orange County, California, we sat down with experienced child sex abuse lawyer Bobby Thompson to discuss the legal options available to the victims and how to ensure negligent organizations are held accountable. Thompson, who has represented numerous survivors of child sexual abuse, provided valuable insights into the steps victims can take to seek justice and reclaim their power.

Laurence Banville (LB): Thank you for joining us today, Bobby. As an experienced California child sex abuse lawyer, can you go over the legal rights available for anyone sexually abused by a cheerleading coach and how to hold negligent parties accountable?

Bobby Thompson, Esq. (BT): Thank you for having me, Laurence. Sexual abuse by coaches, especially in youth sports, is a pervasive problem that has devastated countless young lives.

LB: What legal options do the victims in this case have?

BT: The victims may have several avenues to seek justice and accountability. First and foremost, they can pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator. In addition to the criminal case, the victims may also have grounds to file civil lawsuits. They could potentially sue the perpetrator for the sexual abuse, as well as any organizations or institutions that employed him and failed to protect the children in their care, such as a cheer club and high school.

LB: What types of damages could the victims recover in a civil lawsuit?

BT: In a civil case, the victims could seek compensation for a range of damages, including:

  • Past and future medical expenses related to counseling and treatment for the trauma
  • Pain and suffering, both emotional and psychological
  • Lost wages or earning capacity if the abuse has impacted their ability to work
  • Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the perpetrator and deter similar misconduct

The amount of damages would depend on the specific circumstances of each victim’s case, but cases involving the sexual abuse of minors can result in substantial monetary awards.

LB: What about the organizations that employed the coach – how could they be held accountable?

BT: The organizations that employed them, such as a cheer club and high school, could potentially be held liable under a legal doctrine called “negligent supervision.” This means that the organizations had a duty to properly vet, train, and monitor their employees, and failed to do so in a way that allowed the abuse to occur.

If it’s found that an organization knew or should have known about a coach’s predatory behavior and did not take adequate steps to protect the children in their care, they could be on the hook for significant damages. This sends a strong message that institutions must prioritize the safety of young athletes over the reputation or convenience of their coaches.

LB: Thank you, Bobby, for providing this important insight into the legal options available to the victims of sexual abuse. It’s critical that survivors of sexual abuse by coaches and other authority figures know that they have recourse to seek justice and accountability.

BT: You’re very welcome, Laurence. With the right legal support, we can work to ensure that perpetrators are held fully accountable and that institutions are compelled to prioritize child safety above all else.

Seeking Justice for Survivors of Child Sex Abuse

For victims of sexual abuse by coaches or other authority figures, the path forward can seem daunting. However, it’s crucial to remember that you are not alone, and there are dedicated professionals ready to fight for your rights and your healing. If you or a loved one have experienced such abuse, we encourage you to reach out to our firm for a free, confidential consultation. Our team of compassionate, experienced attorneys is committed to helping survivors navigate the legal system, hold perpetrators and negligent organizations accountable, and secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Your voice matters, and with the right support, you can reclaim your power and find the path to recovery. Contact us today to take the first step.


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