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Football coach facing sex charges appears in court

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A former Hutt Valley women's football coach who allegedly lured young women for sex by posing as a photographer on Facebook appeared briefly in court today.

Alejandro Gonzalez Mendez, 36, was charged with unlawful sexual connection after police began investigating allegations of offending against two girls aged under 16.

The case has since snowballed to include eight more alleged victims and charges of indecent assault, grooming a young person and supplying a young person with cannabis.

Gonzalez Mendez, a painter from Wainuiomata, pleaded guilty to seven new charges last week but is yet to enter pleas to the earlier charges.

He stood silently in the dock when he appeared briefly before Judge Bruce Davidson in Wellington District Court today.

Defence lawyer Carrie Parkin said it was hoped the remaining charges could be resolved by discussions with the Crown.

She asked for the matter to be adjourned.

Judge Davidson remanded Gonzalez Mendez in custody until December 18.

A sentencing date for the charges he has already pleaded to is yet to be set.

Police allege Gonzalez Mendez sexually groomed and abused at least 10 girls between April 2010 and September this year.

He allegedly posed as a female South American exchange student, modelling photographer and manager to encourage sexual activity with himself.

The Costa Rica national, who has a partner and two children, has been living in New Zealand for more than a decade.

He was a women's coach for the Wainuiomata Association Football Club but has since been stood down.

- APNZ

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