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Tacoma soccer coach sentenced for groping, kissing 16-year-old girl

TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma youth soccer coach will spend up to a year in jail after he was accused of kissing and groping a 16-year-old girl who had taken private lessons from him for years.

Kelly Bendixen, 52, was arrested in August 2018 on a charge of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor.

Bendixen had been coaching the girl since she was 8 years old. Last summer, he allegedly picked her up at her home for a coaching session at Starfire Sports in Tukwila.  The girl said Bendixen had talked to her about problems with his marriage in the past, and during the car ride he began groping her.

She said they went through the coaching session, and he began groping her again on the way home, finally stopping to kiss her when they got close to her home.

Two days later, Bendixen and the girl had another coaching session, according to court documents. That’s when he allegedly told her he’d had fun and said not to tell anybody about it or he’d go to jail.

Bendixen has denied the allegations.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

A judge sentenced Bendixen on Thursday to 12 months in jail with credit for time served. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine.

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