Justin Sell, a 28-year-old former football coach for Dos Pueblos High School, was sentenced on Tuesday to one year in County Jail and five years of probation for stalking and engaging in sexual acts with a 17-year-old male student. Under a plea deal, Sell — who will also be prohibited from contacting the teen and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life — pleaded no contest to the felony charges of engaging in oral copulation with a minor, contacting with intent to commit sexual offenses, and stalking.
In court this week, Sell listened to emotional statements from the student’s parents, and Judge Clifford Anderson spelled out the terms of Sell’s probation; if he violates any of them, he will be sent to state prison for more than five years. Sell will have to pay restitution, participate in sex-offender therapy, not associate with any minors, and abstain from social media, among other conditions. By August 13, Sell will have to start his one-year sentence either in jail or via electronic monitoring, a decision up to the Sheriff’s department.
Sell’s attorney, Michael Carty, took issue with many of the terms, saying they were too broad. He commended his client for regularly seeing two therapists since his arrest last year and abiding by his electronic monitoring since then, too. Carty also pointed out that Sell took the deal in part to spare the student from lengthy court proceedings. “Going through a trial was nothing that he wanted to make John Doe go through,” Carty said.
Deputy District Attorney Von Nguyen spoke of how Sell, who met the student when the teen was 15, “systematically and methodically groomed” the victim, mentoring him and calling him “bro” and then coercing him into sexual acts. Nguyen said that the “number one priority” of the District Attorney’s Office was to see that Sell received lifetime sex-offender registration. Nguyen added that the victim is now finishing up his first year of college.