Roberto Rodriguez's conviction: A warning to groping coaches everywhere

In recent months, two high school coaches -- Broomfield's Trevor Masse and Longmont's Alex Tinsley -- have been busted on suspicion of inappropriate sexual contact with students. So the five-year sentence handed to Roberto Rodriguez, a middle-school soccer coach, for doing pretty much the same thing, should sound a cautionary note. Look below for details from the Denver DA's Office:


A 32-year-old middle school worker who pleaded guilty in April to attempted sexual assault on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor has been sentenced today.

Roberto Rodriguez (DOB: 09-03-77) was sentenced to 5 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections by Denver District Court Judge Martin Egelhoff.

Rodriguez, a para-professional, worked in a school library and as a girls soccer coach; he was in a position of trust when he had an ongoing sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student that began in December of 2008. Denver Deputy District Attorney Sunny Funk cited these facts and a number of other aggravating factors in arguing for a sentence closer to the maximum of 16 years.

Rodriguez was remanded into the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections and was taken from the courtroom to begin serving his 5-year sentence.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts