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PHOENIX, AZ — A well-known Peoria High School basketball coach and Valley sports fan has been arrested on charges related to child sex crimes, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Patrick Battillo, who is known as “Mr. ORNG” for his dedicated support of the Phoenix Suns, was arrested on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The 37-year-old Battillo is the head boys basketball coach and a volunteer at Peoria High School.

AZ High School Basketball Coach Arrested on Child Sex Crime Charges

On Tuesday, the Peoria Police Department was made aware of a sexual offense investigation regarding an employee at the school. During the investigation, detectives learned that Battillo had been asking juvenile victims to send him videos and photos of themselves in various sex acts and states of nudity, in exchange for money.

Battillo has been booked into the Maricopa County Jail on several charges, including luring a minor for sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking.

Second Employee Arrested for Failing to Report Sexual Misconduct

In addition to Battillo’s arrest, a second Peoria High School employee, 46-year-old Holly Holgate, was also arrested. Holgate, a teacher at the school, was charged with hindering prosecution and failing to report child abuse or neglect.

Authorities say Holgate reportedly gave Battillo a heads-up that police were looking for him, allowing him to leave the school before he could be arrested.

Ongoing Investigation and School District Response

The investigation into this case is ongoing, and ABC15 will continue to follow the story and provide updates as they become available.

In a statement, the Peoria Unified School District said it is working to ensure that any victims receive the support they need and is cooperating fully with the Peoria Police Department’s investigation.

The district also noted that Battillo and Holgate had up-to-date fingerprint clearance cards and no prior reports of misconduct. However, the district has now reported the allegations to the Arizona Department of Education and the Department of Child Safety.

Uncovering Legal Rights and Ensuring Accountability

To better understand the legal implications of cases of this nature, we spoke with Kevin Biniazan, Esq., an experienced Arizona sex abuse lawyer. Kevin provided valuable insight into how the victims can pursue justice, as well as the potential liability of a negligent school or school district.

Attorney Laurence Banville (LB): Kevin, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

Attorney Kevin Biniazan (KB): Thank you, Laurence. It’s a pleasure to be here and discuss this important matter.

LB: Absolutely. Let’s start by addressing the legal rights of victims of sex crimes at a high school. What recourse do individuals who have suffered sexual abuse by a high school coach have?

KB: Individuals who have experienced sexual abuse by a high school coach may have various legal options available to them. They can potentially file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harm they endured. It’s crucial for victims to consult with an attorney experienced in handling sexual abuse cases, as they can help navigate the complex legal landscape and advocate for their rights.

LB: Many may question if soliciting sexual images from students qualifies as sexual abuse; how would you reply?

KB: Soliciting sexual images from students is a form of sexual abuse because it involves exploiting the power dynamics and vulnerabilities inherent in the student-teacher relationship. It is a violation of trust and an infringement upon the victim’s autonomy and personal boundaries. By pressuring or manipulating students into providing explicit photos or videos, the teacher or coach is engaging in coercive and harmful behavior that can have long-lasting emotional and psychological effects on the victims. It is essential to recognize that this type of solicitation is a form of sexual abuse and should be treated with utmost seriousness.

LB: That’s valuable insight, Mr. Biniazan. Now, turning our attention to the schools involved, how can negligent schools be held accountable in cases like this?

KB: Negligent schools can be held accountable through legal action. It is important to establish if the school had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the abuse and failed to take appropriate measures to prevent it. This can include inadequate supervision, failure to conduct proper background checks, or disregarding warning signs. Holding schools accountable not only seeks justice for the victims but also encourages safer environments for students.

LB:  For individuals who may be hesitant to come forward, what advice would you offer them?

KB: It’s understandable that survivors of school sexual abuse and grooming may feel hesitant to come forward due to various reasons such as fear, shame, or uncertainty about the legal process. My advice would be to reach out to a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. They can provide support, explain the legal options available, and guide individuals through each step of the process. It’s essential for survivors to know that they have the right to seek justice and hold their abusers and negligent institutions accountable.

LB: Thank you, Mr. Biniazan, for sharing. Your guidance will undoubtedly help victims navigate these challenging situations.

KB: Thank you, Laurence. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the conversation and support survivors in their pursuit of justice.

Seeking Legal Guidance? Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse by a high school coach, it is crucial to seek legal guidance and protect your rights. Our dedicated team, including sexual assault attorney Kevin Biniazan, is here to provide support and advocate for your best interests. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and the importance of seeking justice. Contact us today for a free consultation, where we can discuss your situation, address any concerns, and offer the compassionate support you and your family deserve. Remember, you are not alone, and we are here to guide you through this difficult journey.


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