Kendra Mangione, BC.CTVNews.ca Writer
A former B.C. soccer coach has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to travelling to the U.S. to have sex with a preteen girl.
Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal, 47, received the sentence in Seattle on Tuesday. He was also given 10 years of supervised release for a federal sex crime, a statement from attorney Annette Hayes said.
“This case should send a clear message to those trolling the internet to victimize children: you will be caught and pay with your freedom for such crimes,” Hayes said in the statement.
Police said Mahal had been corresponding with an undercover agent who he believed was a 12-year-old girl early last year.
The U.S. Justice Department said he had sent several sexually explicit messages and photos to the agent, and repeatedly asked for explicit photos in return. The pair also engaged in “lengthy sexualized chats” by text message, the department said.
He was arrested in February 2015 at a park in the Washington city of Burlington, where he expected to meet the preteen for sex, police said. A year later, Mahal entered a guilty plea after reaching an agreement with prosecutors.
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. He was suspended by the Surrey United Soccer Club after the allegations