Ex-Scottsdale cheerleading coach gets prison in abuse case

Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-15 21:39:24-04

A former cheerleading coach in Scottsdale who was accused of sexually abusing two girls and pleaded guilty to reduced charges has been sentenced to five years in prison.    

Maricopa County Superior Court officials say Yohel Gattaz also was sentenced Thursday to lifetime probation.    

He pleaded guilty last month to four counts of attempted molestation of a child.    

The 23-year-old Gattaz worked at Desert Storm Elite in Scottsdale for a little less than a year. The two incidents occurred between January and March of 2016. The owner of the gym, Eric Contreras, spoke with ABC15 about the arrest.

"It was difficult because we do extensive background checks on all our employees and there was no criminal record," he said. "We take very good care of our kids and our families. It's a safe place for children it always has been and always will be."

The court paperwork says that Phoenix police received a report on May 17 of 2016 and contacted the victims' mother. The mother reported to police that another child may also have been victimized by Gattaz. The other victim's mother contacted the Scottsdale Police department.

Both 14-year-old girls reported to police that in separate incidents they were inappropriately touched by Gattaz, one saying she tried to "roll away" from Gattaz but he grabbed her and pulled her back toward him.

The other victim told Gattaz, "This isn't right, this is illegal."

He originally was charged with aggravated assault, sexual abuse and child molestation.