Courtesy of San Mateo County Sheriff's OfficeMark Avery Turner

South City football coach pleads not guilty in lewd-act case

The South San Francisco high school football coach arrested on charges of committing a lewd act on a minor pleaded not guilty Tuesday, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Mark Avery Turner, 41, of Castro Valley faces three felony charges of intent to commit a lewd act with a minor and one felony count of attempting to dissuade a victim in connection with an incident in which he is alleged to have inappropriately touched a 15-year-old girl’s thigh, kissed her and made the victim swear she would not tell anyone, Wagstaffe said.

Turner was a football and basketball coach and security officer for El Camino High School. On July 1, after basketball practice, he reportedly gave the victim a ride home. While parked in front of her house, he allegedly asked her if she thought of him as more than just a coach and rubbed her thigh several times over a five-minute period.

Turner is then alleged to have kissed her on the cheek before telling her not tell anyone what happened, Wagstaffe said.

<p> The victim reportedly told several friends about the incident and word got back to her parents, who then called police, Wagstaffe said.

Turner was arrested Sept. 24 and pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday, Wagstaffe said. He is currently out of custody on $150,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 28 for a preliminary hearing.

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