Chioke Robinson

South Bay Track Coach Will Stand Trial for Allegedly Abusing Female Athletes

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

A former track coach accused by numerous women of molesting them when they were his high school athletes will stand trial.

A judge on Monday made the ruling following more than a week of testimony in Chioke Robinson's case. More than a half dozen women during testimony recounted what they claim was abuse by Robinson.

Robinson slightly shook his head as the judge ordered him to stand trial. Prosecutors told the court that Robinson preyed on young girls.

"From the very beginning the defendant would groom these girls," Deputy District Attorney Anne Seery said. "He groomed them. He manipulated them. He controlled them. He ruined them."

Seery went on to say Robinson "was a predator. And other girls tried to speak up and he got away with it."

Heather Hennessy said she needs her therapy dog to help deal with the pain.

Hennessy was a track star at Archbishop Mitty High School when she said the abuse began. She then transferred to Los Gatos High School, where she said Robinson followed her as a track coach.

"This guy stalked me, he molested me when I was 14," Hennessy said. "I had to deal with him stalking me through high school."

A former Los Gatos High School star track athlete is responding to an NBC Bay Area investigation saying she was sexually abused on campus years ago and the school failed to protect her. Investigative reporter Candice Nguyen has more.

Hennessy said she will be a witness during his trial. She is also suing both high schools for what she said was negligence in protecting their student athletes.

Robinson declined to comment on Monday. His lawyer said she knows the trial will be an uphill battle.

"It's really hard to get a fair trial in this type of situation," said Laura Robinson, who is representing Chioke Robinson. "He adamantly proclaims his innocence -- for these charges and all these allegations."

For now, Hennessy said she will rely on her therapy dog to help get her through trial.

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