News — July 11, 2017 at 2:48 am

East Bay tennis coach arrested for alleged molestation, years after beating sex case in Marin


Tennis instructor Normandie Santos Burgos, 42, was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of having sex with a teen student, years after he beat a Marin case on similar charges. (Marin Independent Journal)

RICHMOND — A former high school tennis coach who in the early 2000s was the target of a failed child molestation prosecution was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of having sex with a teenage student.

Normandie Santos Burgos, 53, has been a controversial figure in the Bay Area since 2006 when he was arrested and charged in Marin County with molesting a student. Burgos was fired from his high school teaching job, but the case resulted in a hung jury.

The case was never retried and, Burgos, an El Cerrito resident, returned to the tennis instructing business, setting up his own tennis academy. In January, Richmond police received a tip that Burgos had sex with a male student who was less than 17 years old at the time. He was arrested over the weekend, and county prosecutors expect to file felony charges later this week.

In August 2006, Burgos was a popular tennis and gym teacher at Marin’s Tamalpais High School when he was arrested and charged with child molestation and sexual battery. The case against him started when a former student told a therapist he’d been inappropriately touched by a teacher years earlier.

The former student said Burgos had started off by doing “fat tests” on him which escalated into massaging and culminated with Burgos touching his private parts. Prosecutors argued that Burgos allegedly performing a massage had amounted to an unlawful restraint.

Prosecutors in the Marin case described Burgos as a cunning predator. His attorney claimed Burgos, who is gay, was a victim of rampant homophobia. It was a controversial trial that split many area residents, and local supporters spoke in court on his behalf.

He was tried in 2010, on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with one student, and sexual battery of another student. Jurors split 8-4 towards conviction on the sexual battery, and 8-4 towards acquittal on the lewd conduct. In 2010, a judge threw out the case against him over the objections of prosecutor Lori Frugoli, who said that if Burgos was freed, “nothing is going to stop this man from preying on his students.”

Burgos remains in county jail in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

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