ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Middle Tennessee man is accused of committing sexual crimes against at least 10 girls while working as a competitive cheerleading coach in California and Florida.
According to officials, 44-year-old Erick Joseph Kristianson of Antioch, has been charged with multiple felonies for molesting six girls as young as 11 when he coached at a competitive cheer club and a high school in Orange County, California. In addition, he is facing charges for child molestation and child exhibition related to four young competitive cheerleaders he coached in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Kristianson worked as a competitive cheerleading coach at Magic All-Stars from 2002 to 2008, as well as an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School in 2005, where he gained access to the six young girls he allegedly molested.
According to authorities, the California accusations came to light in 2022 after he was arrested in Florida on suspicion of masturbating on camera to three children between the ages of 11 and 13 and touching the breasts of another 13-year-old girl, all of whom were members of Kristianson’s competitive cheer club in Daytona Beach.
After news spread about Kristianson’s arrest in Daytona Beach, officials reported a young woman reached out to Orange County law enforcement, saying she was molested by Kristianson when he was her cheer coach, starting when she was 14 years old. Kristianson would allegedly pick the girl up from school or take her home from cheer practice, and engage in sexual activity with her until she turned 16.
According to the district attorney’s office, Kristianson is accused of molesting five other Orange County girls he coached, ranging in age from 11 and 16, between 2002 and 2007, routinely taking some of the girls to off-campus events and to his home.
Authorities said one of the girls quit cheerleading after Kristianson allegedly molested her at his home, but she did not report the abuse at the time.
In August 2022, Kristianson was arrested in Kansas on a warrant and extradited back to Florida to face charges for exposing himself to three teenage girls during a FaceTime call. However, he was released after posting a $300,000 bond, with no restrictions about leaving the state.
Nearly a year later, the district attorney’s office announced Kristianson was taken into custody in North Dakota last week on a felony warrant connected to the California case. As of Wednesday, May 10, he is being held without bail at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange County.
“Pedophiles will never stop stalking and grooming their prey unless they are stopped,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This was not a predator hiding in the shadows waiting to grab innocent girls. He was hiding in plain sight as he assaulted girl after girl, thinking he would never be caught because they trusted him as a coach. Thankfully, he is in custody and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything it can to ensure he is held accountable for assaulting these young girls who thought they could trust him.”
According to officials, Kristianson is facing the following felony charges:
- Seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14
- Five counts of lewd acts upon a child age 14 or 15
- Two counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor under 18
- One count of sexual penetration by a foreign objection of a minor under 16
- One count of oral copulation of a person under 16
If Kristianson is convicted on all charges, he reportedly faces a maximum sentence of 105 years to life, plus five years and four months.
However, authorities said they believe there may be additional victims out there, so if you have any information about Kristianson or other potential victims, you are asked to call Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Austin Jones at 714-647-4016.