Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) football coach Kenny Sanchez has been cleared of a domestic violence charge that stemmed from a statement from his former girlfriend that was later recanted.
As KVVU-TV in Las Vegas reported, Sanchez was found not guilty during a bench trial that lasted less than an hour.
“It is a relief,” Sanchez told USA TODAY Sports. “I am going to try and put it behind me. The prosecutor did a disservice to the justice system and the taxpayers by continuing to take this to trial after the lead witness recanted her story.”
Sanchez was accused of assaulting ex-girlfriend Brooke Stewart on Christmas morning when he had been picking up their son as part of a new custody agreement. Stewart told police that Sanchez came to her house, grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the face.
In April, Sanchez was arrested for failing to show up to a February court date.
Earlier this month, though, Stewart said in an affidavit that the claim was fabricated and that he didn’t hit her. Despite the admission, prosecutors pressed on with the trial.
In court, per KVVU, Stewart tearfully testified before Judge Amy Chelini’s court about the reasoning of the fabrication.
Sanchez, whose football team went undefeated in the past two seasons and finished atop Super 25 rankings in both seasons, was suspended pending the outcome of the case. Gorman won the Super 25 title under Tony Sanchez, Kenny’s brother, in 2014 and will attempt to join De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) as teams to four-peat.
Sanchez said it has been strange not being on the football field.
“As a player and a coach, I’ve never missed a practice until this year,” Sanchez said. “It’s definitely been strange and not working these past two months has been strange. We have a great football staff that did a incredible job with running our system. Our kids are very resilient. The train keeps on moving so you have to get working regardless of the situation. The game is going to be played regardless.”
In a statement, officials at Bishop Gorman said that “now that the legal process has reached its conclusion, they will review the findings as part of their internal review.” The statement also said Gorman wants to talk to Sanchez before making a decision about possible reinstatement.