A North Salinas high school coach has been ordered to stand trial on allegations he raped four females, two of them underage athletes he coached, and additional charges of aiding and abetting the molestation of a 16-year-old boy.
John Anthony Fickas, 48, is accused of giving the victims alcohol, possibly drugged, and sexually assaulting the female victims while they were passed out, between 2009 and 2015.
Fickas was a girls field hockey coach at the high school until allegations of sexual abuse surfaced.
Additionally, Judge Pamela Butler added charges of oral sex with a minor and child molestation for a 16-year-old boy whom Fickas allegedly drove to have sex with a prostitute. Fickas’ then-seventh-grader son was with his father, according to prosecutors.
Fickas meet the underaged victims while serving as a high school coach, said Det. Sgt. Brian Hoskins with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives didn’t specify what school Fickas first encountered the victims.
He coached football with the boy in the late 2000s and knew one victim, identified as Jane Doe 8, because he coached her track and field team, Hoskins said.
In both cases, Fickas allegedly provided the girls and other students alcohol at gatherings at his home, community service events, and while they worked for his political consulting operation.
Jane Doe 2 told Hoskins she’d gone to Fickas’ home to do campaign work.
There, he’d offered her a lemon-lime-type soda mixed with Patrón tequila that “tasted funny.” She passed out 10 minutes after taking a few sips, Hoskins said.
She awoke to Fickas lying next to her, her pants undone and his unzipped, Hoskins said. She demanded he take her home and they got into his truck.
“She was pressed up against the passenger’s side door of Fickas’ truck in case she had to jump out and run for her life,” Hoskins said.
The following morning, she noticed a “clearish discharge mixed with blood” from her rectum and soreness to both her genitals and buttocks areas.
Jane Doe 8 told Hoskins Fickas raped her 8-10 times. The alleged abuse began when Fickas took her to Monterey to do campaign work. He dropped off a few students with them to pound the pavement and then took her to an office to make phone calls, Hoskins said.
He then suggested they go drink and took her to a motel room.
There he plied her with alcohol and then, on the bed, rolled over and straddled her. She tried to push him off, but he was about four times her weight, Hoskins said. He exposed her breasts and genitals, which he penetrated with two fingers, Hoskins said.
The other times were at various motels in the area, Hoskins said.
She felt afraid of him because of his connections through his political work and he’d taken her to political events. She didn’t remember most candidates names.
“He was very heavily connected,” Hoskins said of Jane Doe 8. “She’d been to political events, and there had been law enforcement in the room and no one questioned why a 15-year-old was here drinking.”
Fickas’ attorney, Miguel Hernandez, noted she’d told Hoskins that she felt that she “owed” him because he paid for food and gifts, including her prom dress.
However, she also felt “defeated” after the first rape and described Fickas’ actions as “grooming” after beginning therapy, Hoskins said.
“After the first (incident), she never fought back, she just resigned herself,” Hoskins said.
Fickas is also accused of raping two adult women after they were too drunk or drugged to consent.
One met him through their mutual show rabbits hobby, the other was a 22-year-old who’d just started working on his campaign, authorities said.
Hernandez, however, told Butler all four females remember little, if anything, from what transpired. In addition, none of the women were told any threats by Fickas, Hernandez said.
Hernandez declined to comment after the hearing.
Fickas’s next court appearance is set for Sept. 20.