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Former Mar Vista High football coach pleads guilty to sex acts with 13-year-old

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A former Mar Vista High School football coach admitted Friday that he committed sex acts with a 13-year-old girl over a several-month period.

Edward Aaron Mendoza, 27, pleaded guilty today to four charges, including lewd acts on a child, and faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 11, said Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Matzger.

Mendoza will have to register as a sex offender for life, the prosecutor said.

Mendoza, who worked as a walk-on assistant football coach at the Imperial Beach campus last fall, engaged in sex acts with the ninth-grader at the Elm Avenue school from September 2015 to the end of February 2016, authorities said. The girl turned 14 after the relationship began.

The girl's father discovered that she was having "extensive phone conversations with Mendoza and was having an inappropriate relationship with him," Lt. Dan Brislin said. The defendant was arrested in April.

"Detectives discovered Mendoza had fostered an ongoing relationship with the victim and engaged in sexual activity with her at school over a period of about six months," the lieutenant said.

In his plea, Mendoza admitted touching the girl's private areas and having her send him a photograph of her private parts.

Mendoza left Mar Vista High in December, when the football season ended, said Manny Rubio, spokesman for the Sweetwater Union High School District.

It's not the only accusation of improper sex involving authority figures and students at Mar Vista High School.

Mar Vista ROTC instructor Martin Albert Gallegos, 48, is accused of having sex with a female 12th-grader on multiple occasions. Gallegos, a substitute teacher, was subsequently fired.

A third man, 20-year-old Alejandro Rodriguez, who worked as a tutor at Mar Vista, is charged with having sex with an underage male student at the school.

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