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Students say there were no warning signs for football coach accused of child sex crimes

Jonathan Linn booking photo (Courtesy of Morongo Basin Sheriff's Station)

A high desert musician and assistant football coach is behind bars, facing three felony child sex charges involving at least one teenager.

Jonathan Linn, 55, coached the JV football team at Yucca Valley High School last fall. He was arrested Tuesday, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old for more than a year. He's charged with rape, lewd acts with a child, and false imprisonment.

"He would help the quarterback or do certain drills to condition us," said Anthony Krause, a freshman at Yucca Valley High. He's one of the dozens of student athletes who practiced under Linn.

Krause said during his time as assistant football coach, Linn never set off any red flags.

"He was very mellow — didn't talk very much," he said.

"Some of the football players were clsoe to him and didn't even know he did stuff like that," said Noemi Espino, a sophomore. "It's honestly astonishing to hear. It's just crazy; you don't really believe it and scary how anybody can just do something like that."

Morongo Unified School District spokeswoman Laura Hall said Linn was immediately dismissed after the allegations came to light, and that he had been thoroughly vetted and cleared by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

"He went through all of the process that the district uses for all employees or volunteers even that come on campus," Hall said. "There was no way that the district would have known that this could have happened."

As students worry about the lasting impacts, police are warning there could be more victims.

"I just really hope nobody else had to go through this and had to go through him raping them," Krause said.

In the wake of the unnerving accusations, Yucca Valley High School is offering counseling to students who need it.

Investigators are looking for more information. If you know anything, call the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Dept. at (888) 78-CRIME. Tips can remain anonymous.

Linn is due in court tomorrow morning.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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