Former coach charged with sex assault of Racine student-athletes

A former Horlick High School assistant wrestling coach now faces 27 charges, accused of sexually assaulting and taking nude photos of team members.

Mount Pleasant police say 60-year-old Benigno "Benny" Velasquez was trying to have sex with a 15-year-old boy he'd met online who was actually a detective. Once word of that arrest came out, some wrestlers Velasquez coaches nearly a decade ago had a lot more to tell police.

From inside the Racine County Jail, Velasquez's list of charges grew sevenfold since his Feb. 27 arrests. The charges stem from his work as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at the Racine high school.

Charging documents filed Wednesday, May 5, say once news of his arrest was published, a pair of former wrestlers came forward with more allegations against Velasquez.

Between 2011 and 2012, one accuser told Mount Pleasant police that Velasquez grabbed him more than 100 times, and explained that it appeared Velasquez was also recording the wrestlers as they came out of the shower.

The wrestler said he told an assistant coach about the abuse at practice, but Velasquez was only away from the program for about one week before returning. That assistant coach is now on administrative leave.

In a statement to FOX6 News, the Racine Unified School District called the allegations extremely serious and disturbing. Plus, steps have been taken to ensure Velasquez cannot access any school.

A criminal complaint states a second accuser claims Velasquez groped him and kissed his neck while trying to photograph him in his underwear.

Based on both accounts, police searched Velasquez's home. They found an SD card with 16 images of former high school wrestlers posing naked.

Velasquez now faces the following charges:

  • 1 count: Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime
  • 1 count: Child enticement
  • 3 counts: Sexual assault of a child by a person who works or volunteers with children
  • 16 counts: Capturing a nude picture without consent
  • 6 counts: Child porn possession.

Velasquez's bond was set at $25,000 with a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 13.

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