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    Etingoff sexual assault case slowly proceeds in court

    By Linjun Fan

    Jon Etingoff, a longtime volunteer coach at Albany High School charged with three counts of sexual assaults on two boys, appeared in court briefly Thursday.

    Court proceedings on his case have been going slowly since the charges were made against him in late July. The mother of a 16-year-old boy who is alleged to be a victim lashed out at Etingoff in court in September. But no substantial hearing has been conducted since then.

    Etingoff is now free on bail, and has pleaded not guilty.

    “They have no facts. It’s all hearsay, ” said 54-year-old Etingoff as he walked out of an Oakland courthouse earlier last month. “They are trashing me.”

    “It’s totally false, ” said Etingoff’s wife who accompanied him to the court.

    The couple declined to offer more details of their defense.

    But prosecutors said that they had gathered enough evidence and were ready to call in witnesses.

    “We wouldn’t have charged the case if we didn’t believe we can prove it beyond reasonable doubt, ” said Susan Torrence, deputy district attorney of Alameda County.

    Torrence said that the case hasn’t moved forward because Etingoff’s defense attorney James Giller is busy with another criminal case, and she hopes that prosecution of the case will speed up in January, as that case comes to its end.

    The two attorneys set the next court date of January 11 for the case with Judge Morris Beatus at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. Preliminary trial of the case could begin shortly afterwards.

    Etingoff, an El Cerrito resident, had been a volunteer wrestling coach at Albany High School for more than two decades before he was arrested by Albany police in July.

    Click here to read an earlier story on Oakland Tribune on the case.

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