An "off campus" assistant coach at North Salinas (Calif.) High School has been arrested in connection to rapes that occurred in 2009 and 2015.
John Anthony Fickas, 48, coached girls' field hockey and track and field. He was a local political consultant who in 2015 ran unsuccessfully for the Salinas Union High School District Board. That year, police discovered that an alleged rape they were investigating held similarities to another reported in 2009.
Fickas was arrested Thursday and charged for two counts of rape by use of drugs, two counts of rape of an unconscious person, one count of sodomy of an unconscious person and one count of sodomy by anesthesia or controlled substance. He was released on bail Friday and is due back in court July 22.
As reported by KSBW in Salinas, several coaches and former coaches said that staff, coaches and parents made several complaints to the school’s athletic director and administration in regard to inappropriate behavior by Fickas. Some of the complaints included Fickas drinking with students and inappropriate touching.
The Salinas Union High School District issued the following statement:
"We are shocked to learn about the recent arrest of one of our walk on, off-campus, coaches. Certainly this is a disturbing set of allegations and as we learn more about the details we will address the matter consistent with the law and our policies. At this time it is an ongoing investigation and we are cooperating with law enforcement officials.
"The safety and security of our students are a priority. Thus, once we were notified of the investigation we placed this coach on administrative leave, and as a result, he was directed to have no contact with any Salinas Union High School District student. We must respect the rights to privacy and due process of everyone involved, and the District cannot comment further on personnel matters or student information. As law enforcement moves forward we will take the appropriate disciplinary actions which may include termination of this coach. We appreciate the community's understanding and support as we work through this unfortunate situation."