Prosecutor charges former cheer coach with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor

The King County Prosecutor on Friday charged a former Celebrity Cheer Unlimited coach with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly taking pictures of a number of naked, 15 to-16-year-old girls he coached in Auburn.

In court documents, the prosecutor alleges that Jeffrey Mendoza, 34, gained the trust of the girls and their families by offering to take pictures that would sweeten their modeling portfolios.

Mendoza is in King County Jail on $100,000 bail.

The prosecutor further alleges Mendoza bought the girls clothing — including lingerie — and persuaded them to pose in skimpy attire or naked during photo shoots at rental properties and Airbnbs in Tacoma and Seattle.

According to court documents, one of the girls told investigators that Mendoza would adjust her body into the position he wanted, even pull her underwear aside to photograph her private areas.

According to court documents, the girls called Mendoza a “controlling person with anger issues” and said they were afraid to say no to him.

According to court documents, investigators first took an interest in Mendoza in July 2018.

The prosecuting attorney told the Superior Court judge at Mendoza’s bail hearing that the former coach would be a danger to the community if he were released.


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