B.C. soccer coach accused of seeking sex with 12-year-old pleads guilty
A composite sketch of Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal as he appeared in a Washington state courtroom on Feb. 4, 2015. (KOMO News)
Published Tuesday, January 12, 2016 3:47PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 12, 2016 4:00PM PST
A youth soccer coach from Surrey, B.C. accused of travelling to Washington State to have sex with a young girl has pleaded guilty.
U.S. officials said 47-year-old Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal entered a guilty plea in Seattle District Court Tuesday after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.
The terms of the deal include a recommended sentence of between six-and-a-half and nine years in prison, though the judge can still choose to send Mahal away for up to 30 years.
Police said Mahal starting corresponding with an undercover agent he believed to be a 12-year-old girl in early 2015, and sent multiple sexually explicit messages and photos.
He also repeatedly asked for explicit photos in return, and engaged in “lengthy sexualized chats” on his phone, according to a release from the U.S. Justice Department.
Police said Mahal eventually crossed the border from Canada for a meeting at a park in Burlington last February, expecting to have sex, only to be arrested when he arrived.
At the time of his arrest, Mahal was a facilities manager for a Vancouver tech firm and a volunteer coach of an under-16 soccer team in Surrey. The Surrey United Soccer Club suspended him after the allegations against him came to light.
Mahal is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2016.