San Jose

South Bay Tennis Instructor Arrested for Alleged Sexual Molestation

A South Bay tennis instructor has been arrested for allegedly having unlawful sexual contact with two underage sisters, city officials and prosecutors said.

The suspect, 61-year-old Matt Montana of San Jose, was arrested on Dec. 5 by Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers based on information from one of the victims who claimed he molested her. Officers investigated further and identified another victim, city officials said.

Montana is a registered sex offender since 1996 for sexual battery. He is facing 31 counts, a majority being lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 in addition to a single charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Pinaki Chakravorty said.

Montana appeared at the Palo Alto Courthouse Wednesday morning and did not enter a plea. He's scheduled to return to court on Jan. 11, Chakravorty said.

One of the victims told a friend about the alleged molestation and the friend told her own mother. The friend's mother then told the victim's mother, who decided to have her daughter see a therapist, who encouraged the victim to talk with law enforcement, Chakravorty said.

The first victim had tennis lessons with Montana one to three times a week and was allegedly abused between 2006 and 2013, Chakravorty said.

One charge was filed on behalf of the second victim, the first victim's sister, who was allegedly abused from 2009 to 2011, according to Chakravorty.

In 1996, Montana was convicted of sexual battery and sentenced to three years of probation and one year of jail time, police said. He subsequently failed probation and was in prison until 1999.

When Montana was released, he was required to register with San Jose police as a sex offender, authorities said.

Montana is a former instructor at the Sunnyvale Tennis Center.

Montana didn't inform his employer BG Tennis, Sunnyvale's contractor for its tennis programs, that he was registered as a sex offender as required by law, city officials said.

BG Tennis operated the tennis program from 2004 until 2011, when it told the city of its plans to end operations. The city took over the tennis program between January and April of 2012.

Montana stopped teaching tennis in Sunnyvale when the city contracted with Lifetime Tennis for lessons in May 2012.

At the time of his arrest, Montana was providing private tennis lessons at De Anza College and West Valley College, police said.

Investigators said Montana may also have provided tennis lessons to adults and youth at tennis courts at parks in Sunnyvale, Cupertino and San Jose.

“We are asking anyone who may have additional information about Mr. Montana to contact Sunnyvale DPS about any illegal sexual behavior,” Chief Frank Grgurina said.

Montana remains in custody on $655,000 bail, according to online jail records.

Anyone with information related to the investigation may contact Sunnyvale DPS Investigations Unit at 408-730-7120.

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