Charges filed against Tulare Western HS basketball coach accused of having sex with minor

Tulare Police say 25-year-old Alec Denney's crimes started last fall and continued over the course of the next eight to nine months.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- UPDATE: The Tulare County District Attorney's Office has filed felony charges against Alec Denney who's accused of having sex with a minor.

Denney was charged with three counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, three counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object under 18, one county of unlawful sexual intercourse, distributing or showing pornography to a minor, contact with a minor for sexual offense and meeting with a minor for lewd purposes.

This is a developing story. Our original story follows below.

An assistant boys and girls basketball coach for Tulare Western High School was arrested after police say he had sex with a student who is under 16 years old.

Tulare Police say 25-year-old Alec Denney's crimes started last fall and continued over the course of the next eight to nine months.

Denney faces sexual assault charges involving the same victim - who was 15 and 16 at the time of the crimes.

"It came to surface when a concerned friend brought it to an adult's attention and the proper steps were taken," Tulare Police Sgt. Ed Hinojosa said.

Tulare Police started an investigation on Wednesday after getting a call from school staff.

Officers interviewed staff, the alleged victim, and eventually, Denney, who was arrested by the end of the day.

Police say there may have never been a case if it wasn't for the victim's friend telling an adult what they knew.

"That's a tough thing to do," Hinojosa said. "But obviously doing the right thing is always the best route."

On Thursday, the California National Guard confirmed that Denney is an active member of a guard hazard response unit.

Guard officials say they are cooperating with the investigation.

The Tulare Joint Union High School District says they are doing the same.

"The District remains committed to the safety and well-being of all of our students," the district said in a statement. "All District staff receive regular training and guidance regarding the importance of maintaining appropriate relationships with students. The District encourages both students and staff to immediately report any perceived misconduct by an employee."

Denney was arrested at his home in Tulare on Wednesday.

He's being held at the Tulare County jail, and could be officially charged as soon as Friday.

The school district's full statement is below:

Tulare Joint Union High School District has recently learned of the arrest of a Former District employee, Alec Denney. Mr. Denney is a former employee of the District. Mr. Denney's last employment with the District was as a walk on Basketball Assistant Coach for the Varsity Girls team during the 2018-2019 & 2019-2020 season. Mr. Denney is no longer serving as a coach for the District.
The District takes the allegations against Mr. Denney very seriously and is continuing to work with the Tulare Police Department as they investigate this matter. While the District understands the need and desire for more information, there are specific laws that govern school districts that prohibit the District from sharing details of an ongoing personnel investigation.

The District remains committed to the safety and well-being of all of our students. All District staff receive regular training and guidance regarding the importance of maintaining appropriate relationships with students. The District encourages both students and staff to immediately report any perceived misconduct by an employee.

When the District learns of potential misconduct of an employee that may be criminal, it immediately reports the conduct to law enforcement. To that end, if anyone has any information regarding this matter, we encourage you to immediately report it to the District and the Tulare Police Department.

If you have such information, please call the District's Superintendent, Tony Rodriguez, at (559) 688-2021.
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