A 40-year-old soccer coach accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl
was arrested Wednesday, Henderson police said.
Gabriel G. Lopez, a Las Vegas man, was booked into Henderson jail on 11 counts of statutory sexual seduction. According to police, he and the girl have had a sexual relationship since May.
The pair were found together Tuesday night in Lopez’s truck while it was parked in a dark spot of the Arroyo Grande Sports Complex parking lot,
at Arroyo Grande Boulevard and American Pacific Drive, according to Lopez’s arrest report. An officer asked Lopez and the girl, who was not identified by police, what they were doing and both replied they were just talking. The girl told the officer she was 17 years old before admitting she was 15.
Lopez denied having a sexual relationship with the girl, police said.
The girl said they met through a private soccer club, where he was her coach.
The girl’s mother was also arrested after Lopez and the girl, in separate interviews with police, said the mother had approved of the relationship by saying, “Love only comes around once.”
The girl said the mother also told her, “You can’t deny love,” and, “You never know who it will be.” The mother suggested Lopez buy a phone for the girl so that the girl’s father wouldn’t find out,
the girl told police, according to Lopez’s arrest report.
The mother denied approving of the relationship and instructed the daughter to end it, according to her arrest report. She is facing a felony charge of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.
Lopez is listed as a licensed soccer coach for Ballistic Soccer Organization on the club’s Web site. He was head coach of the club’s ‘94 team, which included 13 players, for the 2009-2010 season. Lopez also offered private training to players on the site.
A representative from the organization could not be reached for comment Thursday. Henderson Department of Parks and Recreation officials said Ballistic Soccer Organization does not use any of city parks for practice.