N.M. Police Arrest School Basketball Coach on Sex Charges


An Albuquerque Public Schools basketball coach was arrested after police said he tried to force a student to perform sex acts on his players.

Police said it happened at Tony Hillerman Middle School in northwest Albuquerque earlier this month.

Action 7 News was in the courtroom when 19-year-old assistant boys' basketball coach Tomas Vargas faced a judge Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators said the problems started on Jan. 6, when a 14-year-old student went to an office to ask about a manager position with the team.

Police said she claims Vargas was there with three players. She said Vargas told her she needed to perform oral sex on the players to get hired.

Investigators said Vargas pushed a table into her when she refused, and that she couldn't leave the room.

Officers said she told them Vargas grabbed the back of her neck and forced her head into one of the player's laps until she broke free.

Police said Vargas bonded out of jail and faces charges including false imprisonment and attempted criminal sexual penetration.

Court officials said Vargas admitted to everything that happened during the incident while being questioned.

Vargas is on paid administrative leave and district officials said they'll decide his fate with the school Wednesday.

Officials said Vargas has been working at the middle school for a year. The district said he is also an education assistant and passed all background checks.

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