20-year-old Hart football coach arrested

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Nicolas Ovendale, a 20-year-old assistant coach of the freshman football team at Hart High School, was arrested and charged with unlawful sex with a minor on Thursday in Valencia.

Ovendale, who played on the Hart football team from 2005-08 and is a student at College of the Canyons, is charged with two felony counts, lewd acts with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse, Sgt. Brian Hudson with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Special Victims Bureau said.

Ovendale's bail was set at $50,000 and Hudson said he believed the suspect posted bond on Friday.

"They're both serious charges. They're both felonies," Hudson said. "Unfortunately, we see a handful of these each year in Los Angeles County."

Ovendale reportedly had sex with a 15-year-old student at Hart High School in a vehicle in the Stevenson Ranch area of Santa Clarita. The Sheriff's Department has been investigating the allegations since October and arrested Ovendale on Thursday morning near his residence in Valencia.

"This just makes this case more egregious," Hudson said. "He's in a position of respect or authority at the school and to maybe utilize that to prey on victims."

According to a release from the Sheriff's Department, the investigation began when school officials reported the incident to deputies.

Superintendent Robert Challinor of the William S. Hart Union High School District told KHTS AM 1220 in Santa Clarita that, "We are cooperating fully and completely with the Sheriff's Department. Our number one concern is safety and concern for our students and we will continue to assist the sheriffs with their investigation."

Hudson says he believes this was an isolated incident and he doesn't expect any more victims to come forward.

"There is no reason to believe there are any other victims in this case," he said.

Tim Haddock is a regular contributor to ESPNLosAngeles.com.