STOCKTON, Calif. – A 16-year-old Northern California girl who had been missing for the past week was found safe Thursday and her wrestling coach has been arrested, authorities said, adding that the two reportedly had a “romantic relationship.”
The girl and the coach, identified as Phillip Maglaya, 25, were found in a home in Stockton, Calif., Fox 40 of Sacramento reported.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the missing girl was found at 1 a.m. Thursday because of an anonymous tip that led deputies to a residence on East Mendocino Avenue in central Stockton.
The teenage girl was physically unharmed and in good condition. She was returned to her parents, the report said.
Maglaya was booked into San Joaquin County Jail, the Record of Stockton reported.
He was booked on multiple crimes, including sex-related offenses involving a minor, and child abduction, the report said.
In a statement, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office said Maglaya used this position of trust to pursue an inappropriate relationship with the girl and the charges reflect the breach of trust.
It also is alleged that he removed the teen from her parents against their wishes, concealed her whereabouts for more than a week and engaged in acts with her to which she cannot legally consent, according to the DA.
Phillip Maglaya, a Stockton high school wrestling coach is now in custody. The San Joaquin County sheriff's department shared his booking photo this afternoon. According to the sheriff's office he is facing six charges including contact with a minor for a sex offense. pic.twitter.com/BnR7FOU5wG
— Kay Recede FOX40 (@KayRecede) August 30, 2018
The suspect’s bail was set at $2.7 million and he was scheduled to appear in court Friday, according to the report.
“This is a father’s worst nightmare,” the girl’s father told ABC News. “I feel so helpless.”
“We trusted him,” the girl’s mother said, referring to the coach.
A note that their daughter reportedly left for her parents read, “I love you Mom and Dad, very much, nothing that you guys did was your fault,” the mother told ABC.
The father said he went through his daughter’s phone log and saw numerous calls to Coach Maglaya. As a result, he called him.
He asked the coach if he’d seen his daughter, and that the coach replied, “I talked to her yesterday, she was asking about dieting and nutrition and workout programs.”
The father then received a text from his daughter Tuesday that read, “Don’t worry about me I’m safe I’m at a friend’s house. I’ll talk to you guys again soon I love you, Mom and Dad.”
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Konecny described the case as an emotional one for him.
“It took me home as a father and while I watched this family try to keep it together,” the deputy told FOX 40. “It was hard for me to keep it together. And everybody in that room became tearful.”
The Stockton Unified School District acknowledged in a statement that the coach and teen had started a “relationship,” the station reported.
Maglaya was a volunteer wrestling coach at Franklin High School in Stockton, the report said. Investigators haven’t revealed when the romantic relationship began between the coach and teen.
Maglaya told the school he would not be returning, the school district said, according to the reports.
It was not immediately clear if Maglaya has legal representation.