SACRAMENTO — A soccer coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento has been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, investigators told KTXL.
Investigators said deputies got a call early Christmas morning from a teen girl who said she was the victim of sexual assault and human trafficking. She told deputies she was hiding in the backyard of a home near Sacramento, and the man forcing her into performing sex acts was waiting for her nearby.
Sacramento deputies said they found 34-year-old Elan Seagraves in a car with another 17-year-old. Deputies determined both girls were victims of human trafficking.
"It’s absolutely 100 percent alarming," said Shaun Hampton with the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.
Seagraves was the men's junior varsity and varsity soccer coach at Kennedy High School. Deputies said he was also a coach and referee in some local youth soccer leagues, as well as an Uber and Lyft driver.
The sheriff’s department said there are no indications the allegations are in any way connected to his role as a coach or driver, but that they are concerned about the possibility of more victims.
"We want to encourage, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of any other things they may be involved in, it’s important to come forward," Hampton said.
The Sacramento City Unified School District responded to the arrest in a statement:
"We are extremely disappointed in Mr. Seagraves' unacceptable behavior. While he passed a background check and had no prior offenses when we hired him to coach soccer in our district, we expect more appropriate behavior from someone we trusted to work with our kids. Mr. Seagraves will no longer be allowed to work with our kids in any capacity."
Victim's courageous escape captured on camera
Authorities said surveillance cameras were rolling as the 17-year-old girl made her way down a South Sacramento street, knocking on doors for help. That's when she came upon Vihn Ta's home.
“She wouldn’t tell me anything that happened," Ta told KTXL. "She just said she needed help, that somebody was chasing her.”
In the video, she darted across Ta's front lawn, activating his motion sensor light. She eventually made her way to the front door.
"I didn't see no tears in her eye but she was scared," Ta said.
Ta said she came in, sat on his floor and talked with a 911 operator for about 15 minutes until a sheriff’s deputy arrived.
“She said the guy who trafficked her was having a gun too,” Ta said.
Ta said he overheard the girl telling deputies that another girl her age convinced her to go with Seagraves that night. hey found both in a car nearby.
Seagraves was booked into Sacramento County Jail on human trafficking charges.