Lindsay High basketball volunteer charged with sex offenses against student, parents sue district

A volunteer working with the Lindsay High School basketball program was arrested in May and charged with six felony counts of sexual penetration of a minor and a misdemeanor count of child molestation.

Krizlynn Balboa allegedly engaged in a relationship with the minor – a student at Lindsay High – over a four month period, according to a probable cause document filed with the court by the Lindsay Police Department. She has pled not guilty to all charges.

Separately, the student’s parents filed a civil lawsuit this month against the Lindsay Unified School District and school officials. The suit alleges Lindsay Unified officials were negligent in allowing Balboa to interact with students, and failed to report the relationship to authorities when they reasonably should have known one had been established.

The suit also claims the district did not notify the student body or community once criminal charges were filed. The Valley Voice discovered the criminal case and lawsuit after a regular search of court dockets.

“The student’s parents, in our case, thought it was important the lawsuit be filed for a number of reasons; one of those reasons is so the public becomes aware of these allegations,” the parents’ attorney, Daniel Rodriguez of Bakersfield’s Rodriguez & Associates firm, told the Voice.

Rodriguez drew parallels between this case and the 2019 case of Orlando Benitez, a Lindsay High teacher sentenced to four years in prison for stalking three female students at the school. The first public coverage of his case came after he was sentenced.

“This is not the first time in the recent past that a Lindsay High School employee, a coach or a teacher, has had these allegations made,” Rodriguez said, “because our research shows that there was a man by the name of Orlando Benitez, who was sentenced in August 2019 to state prison for stalking female students.”

Lindsay Unified Superintendent Tom Rooney declined to comment due to pending litigation, beyond confirming to the Voice that Balboa was never an employee of the district.

 

Criminal charges

According to the Lindsay Police Department’s probable cause statement, the student told police that she had “intimate contact” with Balboa on multiple occasions during the four month period. She also told police that the acts took place on school property “approximately five times.”

“Information was gathered through the victim’s Snapchat, which confirmed their relationship status and the sexual acts conducted,” the police document reads. “Based on the information […] Balboa was taken into custody.”

Balboa is currently represented in her criminal proceedings by Kiley Clevenger of Fresno’s Sawl Law Group. The criminal case is pending, and Balboa is waiting for a preliminary hearing, where a judge will decide whether or not there is enough evidence for the case to proceed.

A conference to set a hearing date is scheduled for November 16, 2023.

“Ms. Balboa’s case is still pending. She never worked for the school district in any official capacity. She very simply volunteered at the school, helping out with the basketball program for approximately three months. During that time, my client and the alleged victim developed a friendship that later turned into a consensual romantic relationship. My client was 19 years old and the alleged victim was 16,” Clevenger told the Voice.

“My client was the one that decided to end the relationship after contemplating the fact that the alleged victim was under the age of 18, even though my client was still a teenager herself and somewhat newly of age. Ms. Balboa ended the relationship prior to the allegations being made. Although Ms. Balboa acknowledges that there was a consensual relationship between herself and the alleged victim, she denies the current allegations leveled at her by the District Attorney’s Office,” she added.

 

Victim, parents launch civil suit

Attorneys for the student’s parents have sued Lindsay Unified, Lindsay High Principal Cindy Alonzo, and Balboa herself. Balboa’s father George Balboa – listed as a Lindsay High basketball coach on the Maxpreps high school sports website – was also named in the suit.

The lawsuit does not make any misconduct allegations against Balboa’s father; however, the parents’ attorneys claim that both “reasonably should have known” about the activity and allege that George Balboa was aware of conversations in which Krizlynn Balboa asked students about their sexual experiences, preferences, and their virginity.

“Despite being aware of these conversations, Defendant George Balboa did not report or document these conversations and did not stop these conversations from occurring,” the lawsuit reads.

“The defendant was an assistant coach, and our information is her father was the head coach,” Rodriguez told the Voice.

In the lawsuit, the student claims that she “has suffered and incurred, and will suffer and incur in the future, significant educational detriment, humiliation, physical pain, fear, anxiety, sadness, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, and mental distress.”

The parents’ attorneys are also seeking damages for medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and general damages.

The lawsuit alleges that Krizlynn Balboa “had a history of sexually inappropriate behavior towards minor females, including inappropriate communication and physical contact,” and that Lindsay Unified officials “continued to enable her predatory opportunism” after they had “knowledge, actual notice, or constructive notice” of such activities.

According to Linday Unified’s website, volunteers are required to disclose any prior criminal convictions as well as undergo a background check at the applicant’s expense. Volunteers are also required to report information “if [they] hear about or observe evidence of child abuse.”

The lawsuit alleges Balboa “groomed, then sexually harassed, annoyed, molested, and abused [the student] on or about December 2022 through May 2023, inclusive, beginning when [the student] was only fifteen years old,” and that Lindsay Unified “fostered a culture in which sexual harassment and/or abuse was condoned and ratified.”

The student was unable to easily terminate the relationship with Balboa because she was “supervised by [her], and therefore was forced to be in close proximity to, tolerate and/or endure the relationship with [her],” the filing states.

After Balboa’s arrest, no notification was made to the community by district officials. The parents’ lawsuit alleges that this is a pattern for Lindsay Unified.

“When Defendants Lindsay Unified School District and Cindy Alonzo learned of the allegations of sexual misconduct with a Lindsay High School Student, they continued to hide this information from Lindsay High School students and their parents,” the filing states. “When Krizlynn Balboa was arrested and charged with felony counts for these actions, Lindsay High School intentionally withheld that information from its student body and the parents of their students.”

“This is not the first time that allegations have arisen of a Lindsay High School employee and/or agent assaulting a student. Orlando Benitez was sentenced in August 2019 to 4 years and 4 months in state prison for stalking female students while employed as a teacher and coach at Lindsay High School,” the filing continues. “When those allegations were made known to Lindsay High School, the Defendant District also chose not to release that information to its student body.”

Lindsay Unified has not yet responded to the civil lawsuit; a Case Management Conference is currently scheduled for February 6, 2024.

11 thoughts on “Lindsay High basketball volunteer charged with sex offenses against student, parents sue district

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    • Hi Michael, the conference to set a preliminary hearing date was continued to 01/09/2024 08:30 AM, so there’s no news on this case right now.

  1. The family should know that this is not the first time that LUSD has had this happen. The last incident was covered up and not leaked out to the media. It involved another coach. His wife is still employed by the district. LUSD has a history of covering up their mess – the school board is an active participant in that. LUSD and the superintendent has several law suits pending.

    • Hi, Michael,

      There’s still no update at this time, the conference to set a preliminary hearing date was continued again to February 29 at 8:30am in Department 18 of the South County Justice Center.

      In the civil suit, a Case Management Conference hearing is scheduled for February 6 at 8:30am in Department 7 at the Tulare County Superior Court in Visalia.

    • Hi, Michael,

      In the civil case, the last hearing was for a Case Management Conference. That hearing ended with a trial schedule being set:

      – A settlement conference is scheduled for November 21, 2024 at 8:30am in Department 1 of the Tulare County Superior Court,
      – Should settlement talks not come to an agreeable conclusion, a Readiness Conference is scheduled for December 6 at 8:30am in the same courtroom,
      – Assuming both sides are ready for trial, a 7 day estimated Jury Trial would start on December 9 at 9am in the same courtroom

      There don’t appear to be any updates at this time in the criminal proceeding.

    • Hi Michael,

      There’s still no updates at this time.

      The conference to set a preliminary hearing date was continued yet again to 04/12/2024 at 08:30 AM in Department 18 of the South County Justice Center.

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