FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Trial got underway Tuesday for a former Deerfield Beach swimming coach accused of molesting a several of his young students.
Francisco de Aragon allegedly inappropriately touched 6-year-old girls during lessons at the Deerfield Beach Aquatic Center in 2015.
On Tuesday, de Aragon, who is free on bond, faced three of his accusers in court.
Each of the girls testified that when they were 6 years old, de Aragon groped them under their two-piece bathing suits.
“When each girl is taken in the pool, under the guise of instruction, each girl is sexually assaulted,” said Assistant State Attorney Patyl Oflazian told the jury in her opening statement.
The girls did not know each other at the time and attended different schools.
One girl testified she didn’t tell anyone at the aquatics center because she says she was scared.
The girls were all in kindergarten at the time and driven from their school to the aquatics center for lessons.
De Aragon, who denies molesting the girls, had passed a criminal background check Before he was hired in Deerfield.
Prior to that, he taught swimming in Boca Raton and South Carolina.
He was fired by the city of Deerfield Beach after his arrest.
None of the girls could identify de Aragon in court. But one of the girl’s told the prosecutor that she remembered picking out a picture of the man who touched her private parts in a photo lineup for police.
The mothers of all three girls testified Tuesday that they were upset when they learned of the allegations.
“She was just 6 years old, I feel like someone took my life away,” one mother tearfully told the jury.
On Monday, de Aragon refused a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 25 years.
The trial is expected to finish by Friday.
De Aragon faces two counts of capital sexual battery and three counts of lewd and lascivious acts.
If convicted of the capital sexual battery charge, de Aragon could be sent to prison for life.