Chicago Fire youth coach allegedly groomed girls for sex
A coach for the Chicago Fire junior soccer club has been fired after allegedly grooming three young girls for sex, including one he urged not to wear a bra to a training session so she could play better, prosecutors and team officials said.
Fernando Calderon, 49, is also accused of telling another teenage girl that having sex would translate to an immediate impact on the pitch, making her more “flexible,” the Chicago Tribune reports, citing Cook County prosecutors.
Calderon, who has since been fired by the team, then allegedly gave the 14-year-old girl his phone number during a practice in Chicago in July 2017 in case she wanted to accept his offer. He also is accused of telling her having sex with him would let her “do more” while playing soccer.
Calderon told the teen to contact him if she “ever felt lonely” before putting his number into the teen’s phone, prosecutors said.
Calderon then allegedly victimized a second Chicago Fire Juniors City player last July during a private training session in his garage, where he touched and rubbed the breasts of a 16-year-old girl under the guise of measuring her chest. Prior to the one-on-one session, Calderon told the girl not to wear a bra to his home in order to “get horny” — which he claimed would equate to better play thanks to increased hormone levels, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said a third teen, another 16-year-old girl, also reported that Calderon told her sometime last summer that he needed to massage her after a training session. He then showed the girl a video on his phone of a topless woman being massaged. Calderon also promised the teen that he could help her get into college but told her she needed to “work with him,” prosecutors said.
Calderon remained held without bail Monday at Cook County Jail on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a minor. His next date in court is scheduled for Tuesday, jail records show.
Calderon also told the girls that he needed to “manipulate” their bodies during the alleged incidents between July 2017 and last August.
Team officials said Calderon was immediately suspended after they learned of the disturbing accusations.
“We have since dismissed the coach,” the team’s president, Paul Caldwell, said in a statement obtained by The Post. “We have always maintained strict personnel safeguards including rigorous background checks, safe sport training, implementation of a code of conduct and guidelines governing interactions with minors. Nevertheless, we will reexamine our policies, practices and training to ensure we are fostering a positive and safe environment for every young player throughout our system.”
An attorney for Calderon, meanwhile, told WLS-TV that he had never been arrested before and had lived for three decades in Chicago.
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