THE WOODLANDS, Texas – A Montgomery County softball coach was sentenced to serve two life sentences and four sentences of 20 years Thursday after he was convicted of sexually assaulting teenagers he coached, authorities said.
On Wednesday, Juan “Manny” Corona, 44, who is also known as “Coach Manny,” was found guilty on several charges, including three counts of sexual assault of a child.
Corona was given the maximum sentence on all charges.
Capt. Dan Zientek, of the Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office, said Corona had been coaching for about 25 years and 17 of those years were in Montgomery County.
Authorities said he gave private lessons at the South Montgomery County Softball League. In some cases, Corona would pick up the children from school and take them to their lessons, Zientek said.
Zientek said Corona sexually assaulted a 14-year-old during one of the private practices after picking her up from school. Corona would threaten the victim and said something would happen to her or she wouldn’t get playing time if she told anyone about the encounter, Zientek said.
Investigators found out about the alleged sexual assaults that happened in May and August from another player.
“Another player that was traveling to practice with our victim and Coach Manny said the coach decided to stop at the store and buy both of these girls alcohol,” Zientek said.
Corona was arrested at his home on Jan. 3, 2018.
Zientek said the other player’s parents found out about it, and that’s when the victim’s parents started asking their child questions, according to Zientek.
Authorities said Corona admitted to giving the girls alcohol but dodged questions about sexual assault. Investigators said they believe there may be more victims, given the amount of contact Corona had with children during his time as a coach. Since Corona was publicly accused, four more victims came forward with sexual assault accusations against Corona.
One of the victims said they were sexually assaulted continually starting in 2002 when they were 12 years old. Evidence recovered at Corona’s house corroborated the victim’s statement, including video and photos.
Due to the accusations, Corona also faced an additional charge for the production of child pornography.