Supporters rally around Coronado water polo coach accused of sex - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Supporters rally around Coronado water polo coach accused of sex assault

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CORONADO (NEWS 8) – A big show of support Thursday at Coronado High School for a teacher who spent decades as coach of the water polo and was suspended earlier this year after a former student came forward and accused him of sexual assault.

Supporters of Randy Burgess say the allegations are baseless and hundreds have signed a petition demanding he be reinstated.

Burgess was placed on paid leave in April when the allegations by a former middle school student were made – a suspension that was illegal, according to a petition for his reinstatement because no criminal charges have been filed.

Burgess vehemently denies the allegations that six years ago he had an inappropriate relationship with a middle school student.

On Thursday, the Coronado Unified School Board heard from his legion of supporters who lauded Burgess’s achievements as a coach and teacher.

Supporters presented the board and superintendent with a petition containing 1,200 signatures, demanding Burgesses’ immediate reinstatement.

Only one speaker supported the suspension claiming that her daughter, who has since graduated from Coronado High, was subjected to sexual harassment by Burgess.

“He condoned a predatory culture – objectification of women,” said the speaker.

One of Burgesses’ supporters called for the superintendent Karl Mueller to be fired for the suspension.

Mueller said that student safety is the district’s paramount concern.

Earlier this summer, Randy Burgess filed a lawsuit against the Coronado Unified School District, claiming his suspension was illegal. Attorneys for the district said the district leaders have followed protocol.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s office has not filed any criminal charges against Randy Burgess.

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