A former girls’ basketball coach at Riverside High School has been convicted of three misdemeanor charges related to allegations that she inappropriately touched and talked to players, and now she and Riverside Unified School District face related lawsuits.
On Monday, May 9, at Superior Court in Riverside, 48-year-old desman Niguel Granger pleaded no-competition for using offensive words in a public place and one count of lewd conduct. They appeared to be new charges; Three counts of harassing or molesting a child while on school property, one count of sexual battery and one count of battery, were all quashed.
The case was pursued by the state attorney general’s office due to an undisclosed conflict involving the district attorney’s office.
Granger, who faces the start of a trial on Monday, was sentenced to 10 days at the Riverside County Sheriff’s deed-release program, one year probation and 100 yards from Riverside Poly High for not contacting three named victims. was ordered to stay. Not seeking employment with any school-sponsored youth sports league, court records show.
Attorney Ellen B., on behalf of one of the victims. The lawsuit, filed in 2021 by Zacksar, also names Ashley Trotter, an assistant basketball coach. The lawsuit alleges sexual abuse, sexual assault and failure to report suspected child abuse.
The school district in its response denied that it was guilty. Granger said in a brief phone interview Wednesday that he would like to consult with his attorney before commenting. A phone message was left for Trotter.
The lawsuit alleges that in 2019, when Granger was an assistant coach, he commented on the girl’s sexual orientation and sexually embraced the girl and other players. Once, when the girl hurt her ankle, Granger made lewd remarks while driving her to his car, the lawsuit says.
The girl and other players then complained to the head coach, who was not named in the trial. The head coach called a meeting of the girls, Granger, Trotter, and himself, where he told the girls that their allegations could have dire consequences for Granger and that “the information they had about the defendant’s offender’s conduct gave him ‘ What the minors had reported as a ‘different opinion,’ the lawsuit says.
The head coach then urged the girls to meet with Granger in person. Soon other school staff learned of the allegations against Granger and reported them.
“Perhaps the most worrying part of the matter is that the school staff actively tried to silence these children for not reporting them. We are going to make sure that the voices of these children are heard,” Zekser said in an interview on Wednesday.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, is in its early stages in court. The next hearing has been scheduled for May 24.