San Jose

Menlo Park Badminton Coach Arrested on Suspicion of Sex Crime

A well-known badminton coach was arrested on suspicion of molesting a minor and sexual assault-related offenses on July 12, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials reported Thursday.

Deputies began investigating an "inappropriate relationship" between a girl and her badminton coach, Khankham Malaythong on July 12 at about 9 p.m., according to sheriff's officials.

Malaythong is a badminton instructor at Synergy Badminton in Menlo Park, sheriff's officials said.

Santa Clara County Park Rangers found Malaythong, 37, and the 17-year-old student in Malaythong's SUV at Joseph Grant Park after hours, according to the sheriff's office.

Malaythong was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of on multiple offenses, including annoying or molesting a minor and a sexual assault-related offense. Sgt. Reginald Cooks said officials could not provide further details about the nature of the alleged offenses.

According to the sheriff's office, Malaythong posted bail and was released.

The investigation is still ongoing. Malaythong is a six-time winner of the U.S. National Badminton Championships in doubles and a 2008 U.S. Summer Olympics competitor.

An employee at Synergy Badminton said Malaythong is currently employed at the badminton club, but isn't available for interviews because he is at a badminton tournament in Las Vegas. The employee asked not to be named.

Deputies are asking anyone with information, or any additional victims, to call (408) 808-4500.

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