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Former St. Francis High School track coach sentenced to more than 16 years behind bars for sexually assaulting teen

Morning news & weather update - 1/31/23
Morning news & weather update - 1/31/23 01:45

SACRAMENTO - A former high school coach convicted of sexually assaulting a teen has been sentenced to over 16 years in prison.

On January 27, 2023, a judge sentenced Aaron Daniel Rios to 16 years and eight months in state prison. This is the maximum sentence the suspect could have been given. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

Aaron Rios\' booking photo. (Credit: Sacramento Police Department)

On November 15, 2022, a jury convicted Rios of eight counts of sexual assault against a minor, including one count of forcible digital penetration of a minor, one count of sexual battery by restraint, and six counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a 15-year-old while being more than 10 years older.  

The jury also found that the victim was particularly vulnerable and the defendant took advantage of a position of trust or confidence.

Rios was a coach for the St. Francis High School track and cross-country team and a coach for a private running group called "Sac Elite."  He met the then-13-year-old victim in 2018 after she joined the group.

In March 2020, COVID regulations shut down the school's running program and resulted in the Sac Elite athletes running in smaller groups. Rios began running with the victim during training sessions. This created opportunities for Rios to be with the victim alone and he gradually developed an inappropriate relationship with her, the DA's office says.

Rios told the victim to keep the illicit acts secret and even downloaded an app on her phone that deleted messages he would send her after she received them.

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