Trial set for former coach facing child sexual assault charges

SANTA ROSA — A trial is set for a former Santa Rosa coach facing charges stemming from an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

State District Judge Gloria Rincones has set an Aug. 19 jury trial for Isaac Flores, 24, a former coach with the Santa Rosa school district.

Earlier this week in the 445th District court, Flores, represented by attorney Carlos Quintana, pleaded not guilty to one count of improper relationship between an educator and student, two counts of sexual assault of a child and four counts of delivery of a controlled substance, or marijuana.

In Wednesday’s hearing, Flores waived an arraignment on the second-degree felony charges carrying as much as two to 22 years in state prison.

In an affidavit, a 16-year-old Santa Rosa High School student testified she and Flores had sex twice at his home in November or December 2018 and in early 2019.

The girl also testified Flores smoked marijuana with her and three other girls.

In a related case, Josue Cepeda, 35, a former teacher and coach at Santa Rosa High School, is set for an Aug. 5 jury trial, where he will face charges stemming from an alleged sexual relationship with another 16-year-old girl.

Cepeda faces one count of improper relationship between an educator and student and six counts of sexual assault of a child.

In February, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force received telephone tips regarding allegations Flores and Cepeda were having improper relationships with students.

Last month, Associate Judge Louis Sorola ordered Flores and Cepeda be held on $525,000 bond, setting bail at $75,000 per count.

On May 22, a grand jury indicted the two men.

Late last month, Victoria Cisneros, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, confirmed local, state and federal authorities are trying to identify individuals involved in those alleged incidents while investigating whether they were covered up.

According to the district attorney’s office, school district officials failed to respond to reports that Cepeda and Flores were allegedly having relationships with students in May 2018.

Flores and Cepeda are being held in the Cameron County Jail.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com