SALINAS — The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office is seeking additional victims in the arrest of a local high school coach and political consultant on charges of rape in two independent cases.
John Anthony Fickas was arrested Thursday at the Superior Court of Monterey County in Salinas where he was appearing on an unrelated matter. He was booked into Monterey County Jail for two counts of rape by use of drugs, two counts of rape of an unconscious person, one count of sodomy of an unconscious person and one count of sodomy by anesthesia or controlled substance. Fickas’ bail was set at $400,000.
The Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Unit wrapped a months-long investigation with the arrest of Fickas. During this investigation, the Sheriff’s Office learned the Salinas Police Department was conducting a separate and unrelated sexual assault investigation into Fickas as well.
The arrest warrant for Fickas covered both the Sheriff’s Office and Salinas Police Department cases.
The Sheriff’s Office case occurred in 2009 and the Salinas Police Department case occurred in 2015, with facts in both cases being strikingly similar. The victims in each case do not know each other and reported their cases months apart.
According to a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office, Fickas is a local political consultant for numerous area campaigns and a “walk-on, off-campus” coach for North Salinas High School. Investigators found he has coached girls field hockey and track and field. Fickas also used area high school students as volunteers at political campaigns. The students would receive community service hours for performing various campaign duties.
The Salinas Union High School District has cooperated with the Sheriff’s Office throughout the investigation and issued the following statement.
“We are shocked to learn about the recent arrest of one of our walk on, off-campus, coaches. Certainly this is a disturbing set of allegations and as we learn more about the details we will address the matter consistent with the law and our policies. At this time it is an ongoing investigation and we are cooperating with law enforcement officials.
The safety and security of our students are a priority. Thus, once we were notified of the investigation we placed this coach on administrative leave, and as a result, he was directed to have no contact with any Salinas Union High School District student. We must respect the rights to privacy and due process of everyone involved, and the District cannot comment further on personnel matters or student information. As law enforcement moves forward we will take the appropriate disciplinary actions which may include termination of this coach. We appreciate the community’s understanding and support as we work through this unfortunate situation.”
Fickas had lived on Augusta Drive off San Juan Grade Road in the unincorporated area outside the city limits of Salinas. He currently lives in the city of Salinas.
The Sheriff’s Office believes there may be additional victims of Fickas in the community and is asking anyone with information about Fickas to contact Sgt. Bryan Hoskins at 831-755-3773 or Rosy Silva at …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports