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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Former Cheerleading Coach Who Committed Sexual Assault on Cruise Ship Found Guilty of Two Felonies

          LOS ANGELES – A former cheerleading coach has been found guilty of two federal felony charges for sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman on a cruise ship bound from Long Beach to Ensenada, Mexico during the summer of 2015.

          Anthony Paul De La Torriente, 30, of Simi Valley, on Wednesday was found guilty by a jury of one count of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact. In reaching the verdict, the jury found that De La Torriente knew the victim was physically unable to decline participation or she had communicated unwillingness to engage in the sexual act.

          United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer has scheduled a June 10 sentencing hearing, where De La Torriente faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

          During the one-week trial, prosecutors presented evidence that De La Torriente volunteered to stay alone in the victim’s cabin with the victim, whose severe intoxication from a daytime excursion in Ensenada had worried their colleagues, while the colleagues got food on the cruise ship. Once alone with the victim, De La Torriente sexually assaulted her. When their colleagues returned, they found the victim’s cabin door had been double-locked from the inside. When De La Torriente eventually unlocked the door and allowed their colleagues inside, the victim identified De La Torriente as her assailant.

          The victim reported the assault to the cruise ship’s medical and security staff. Swabs taken from the victim’s body matched De La Torriente’s DNA while swabs taken from inside and outside of his underwear matched the victim’s DNA.

          This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

          This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cassie D. Palmer of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section and Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.

Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
19-023
Updated February 15, 2019