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Pitman coach accused of child molestation has yet to enter plea
Derek Young arrestee
Derek Young

A Pitman High assistant wrestling coach facing felony charges related to child-molestation incidents alleged to have occurred more than a decade ago was in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Wednesday, but has yet to enter a plea.

Derek William Young, 41, who was arrested Feb. 6 at 7:33 a.m. in the parking lot of Modesto’s Kaiser Permanente medical center where he is an employee, is being held in San Joaquin County Jail without bail. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 5.

According to court documents, Young faces 12 child-molestation charges, including multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14; lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 with force; and oral copulation with a child under 10 years of age. The latter charge carries a potential life sentence.

Young also faces multiple charges for alleged illegal possession of assault weapons, stemming from the day of his arrest.

The alleged molestation crimes occurred in Ripon, according to Sgt. Paul Staley of the Ripon Police Department; court documents show the incidents occurred between 2003 and 2012, involving three victims.

“It’s important to note that Ripon P.D. did an extensive investigation, but cases like this spanning more than a decade take time to not only document, but corroborate,” said San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Victor Bachand in an email response to the Journal's questions. “This will often take a lot of time. It’s also important to note that cases like this are never closed, and just because at one particular point there may not be enough, doesn’t mean that the work stops.”

Bachand went on to say that the alleged abuse occurred in other jurisdictions, as well.

Young, a resident of Ceres, initially was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on Feb. 6 with bail then set at $1.75 million. He was extradited and booked into San Joaquin County Jail on Feb. 9.

According to Turlock Unified School District, Young was a paid walk-on coach at Pitman the past two seasons, and coached on a volunteer basis during the 2021-22 campaign.

The district was notified of Young’s arrest on Feb. 7.

“At this time, we have no indication that any TUSD student was harmed,” TUSD said in a statement.

Young was listed as a classified substitute in the Ceres Unified School District from 2017 to 2018 and 2020 to 2021, according to Prior to coaching at Pitman, Young was an assistant wrestling coach at Ceres High School and Mae Hensley Junior High School in Ceres. 

Efforts by the Journal on Thursday to reach Young’s attorney — Gilbert D. Somera of Stockton — were unsuccessful.