Coach accused of molesting girl agrees to plea deal

BELLFLOWER - A former Bellflower High School track and girls' basketball coach pleaded no contest Friday to molesting a teenage girl over a five-year period starting when she was 13.Bryan E. Shepherd, 49, entered the plea before Norwalk Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza, who scheduled March 25 for sentencing. Shepherd is expected to receive 28 years in prison under terms of a negotiated settlement, said deputy district attorney Jessica Tillson. Shepherd pleaded no contest to one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and two counts of forcible lewd acts on a child. He was charged on Dec. 21, 2011. The case was moving to trial and Friday's plea came at a pretrial hearing. Shepherd has remained in custody since his arrest Dec. 20, 2011. Although Shepherd was a high school coach, authorities said the abuse did not occur at the school. The victim was molested from the time she was 13 in 2005 until she was 17 in 2010.

********** Published: February 28, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 46