[UPDATED with Laguna Hills Council Connection:] Todd Sousa, Irvine Swim Coach, Backstroking to Prison for Unlawful Sex with 15-Year-Old Girl

UPDATE, OCT. 29, 9:54 A.M.: Swim instructor Todd Robert Sousa, who was sentenced Friday to prison time and a sex offender tag for unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl he taught, is the son-in-law of Laguna Hills City Councilman Joel Lautenschleger.

Sousa has children with Lautenschleger's daughter.

According to his city bio, Lautenschleger was the chief petitioner and co-chairman for the successful drive to incorporate the city in March 1991.

Concurrent with that incorporation vote, Lautenschleger was elected to the first Laguna Hills City Council and has served on the panel ever since. He was mayor in 1995, 2000, 2004 and 2009.

As a swim coach, which included a long association with Woodbridge High School in Irvine, Sousa has specialized in "stroke technique," an aptitude that should serve him well during long nights in the can.

Todd Robert Sousa
Todd Robert Sousa
Courtesy of OCDA

ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 28, 6:15 P.M.: Swim instructor Todd Robert Sousa was sentenced today to 16 months in state prison for having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student. The 37-year-old Irvine resident pleaded guilty to a court offer to 13 felony counts of lewd acts on a child, three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, and two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

In addition to his prison sentence, Sousa is also required to register as a sex offender, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA). And that means he'll be prohibited from entering county parks and city parks in Irvine, La Habra, Los Alamitos and Westminster without permission for police agencies first, as the county and cities have passed OCDA-pushed bans on registered pervs in parks that attract children.

My former colleague Chasen Marshall reported in the spring about Sousa's arrest, charges and arraignment where he pleaded not guilty. See:

He was in the middle of a swim practice at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano when authorities walked onto the pool deck and placed him under arrest. The coach of the Irvine Aquazot Swim Club at the time, he was quickly fired. He'd previously coached at Woodbridge High School, also in Irvine.

Sousa met the 15-year-old girl when he worked as her swim instructor. He groomed her for unlawful sexual contact that included kissing and touching her breasts and vagina over her clothes. It later escalated to digital penetration, oral copulation, and sexual intercourse on several occasions, in his car, office and an equipment closet. Don't call him a romantic. After plying the girl and her friend with alcohol, Sousa even had sex with the victim in his office while her friend waited outside.

The girl's parents learned of the relationship, called the Orange County Sheriff's Department and that was the end of that. At his sentencing today, the girl's mother and step-father gave the court victim impact statements saying the coach's actions ruined their lives, and that their daughter was an avid swimmer and now she doesn't want to swim and has been depressed.


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