Lincoln City youth coach facing 37 sex abuse charges, bail set for $1.5M
LINCOLN CITY, Ore. —
A Lincoln City youth basketball, football and baseball coach is facing 37 sex abuse charges.
Tyler William Lopez, 22, was arrested on last week by Lincoln City Police. He is facing first and second degree sexual abuse charges, using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, luring a minor, encouraging child sexual abuse, and more. He is being held in the Lincoln County Jail on a $1.5 million bail.
In court on Monday, JW Hupp, a Lincoln County district attorney, said the charges against Lopez stem from seven alleged victims, all boys under the age of 18. He said they are aware of at least 13 other potential victims or witnesses, also all minors, but charges have not been filed in those cases.
"This person has been involved with this community and with our youth for some time," said Lt. Jerry Palmer, a spokesperson for Lincoln City Police. "We expect maybe witnesses and or victims that we do not yet know about. We are encouraging the public, if they have any information or feel that they are witnesses or victims of this person's activity, to please call Lincoln City Police."
Lopez was a well-known youth sports coach around Lincoln City.
Lincoln County School District officials say he was an assistant coach last year at Taft High School. They say he passed background checks before he was hired. Since the arrest, the district added an extra psychologist and counselor at Taft should students need them.
Justin James, president of Lincoln City Youth Sports, says Lopez coached a team in their youth baseball league last year and has coached in the past. James says Lopez passed routine background checks and he was never suspicious.
"He's been in the community for a number of years," said Palmer. "The scale of this can keep expanding and we just don't know. The hardest part about us as a small community is all of us know each other, all of our kids participate in these sports. This family has been a very well-thought of family and I'm sure the rest of the family is devastated as the rest of us are at discovering this."
Specific information about the nature of the alleged crimes and arrest are not being released to the public. The judge sealed the corresponding court documents on Monday because of their sexually explicit nature.
Lopez is due back in court March 27.
Lincoln City Police believe there may be more victims or witnesses, and are hoping they will come forward to speak with investigators. Anyone with information about these crimes should contact Lincoln City Police at 541-994-3636.
*Editor's note - Lopez was initially facing 30 charges, however his booking records show that seven more counts were added.