East Los Angeles — Boxing legend Paul Gonzales, who won a gold medal during the 1984 L.A. Olympics and has coached at an East L.A. youth boxing program, has been arrested and charged with lewd acts upon a child.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed eight felony counts against the 53-year-old Gonzales. Four of the counts are for lewd Acts upon a child.
“Suspect Gonzales is an employee for the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department, where he has worked as the head boxing coach at the “Eddie Heredia Boxing Club” in East Los Angeles for the past 10 years,“ the L.A. Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “Based on the allegations in this case, and the fact suspect Gonzales has trained and mentored kids at the boxing gym for the past ten years, detectives believe there may have been other children in the past that were sexually assaulted by suspect Gonzales.”
Gonzales, who was arrested on Dec. 29, is currently in custody at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 18.
The former professional boxer — who is said to be the first U.S. Latino to become an Olympic gold medalist — often wore the light flyweight gold medal at public events. After retiring as a professional fighter, Gonzales, whose likeness is seen in a large Downtown L.A. mural, worked as a motivational speaker, coach and also ran for L.A. City Council.
A department spokeswoman said she did not know if the child involved in the case was a youth in the boxing program. More information will be made available Friday morning, she said.
Anyone who may have additional information regarding this investigation is requested to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273 or (877) 710-LASD.
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