Napa High School begins this week with the news that their Junior Varsity Soccer coach, Julian Vargas, has been arrested for sexually harassing one of his players, a 16-year-old girl.
The victim contacted Napa Police on Saturday around 2 pm, according to a department press release. She told them that Vargas, 29 and a resident of St. Helena, had been propositioning her for sex that prior week, beginning on Tuesday, April 21. On Saturday Vargas’ efforts culminated with a text to the girl, not only soliciting her, but with a photograph of his genitals.
The victim told police that she believed he had been harassing others as well. The investigating officer quickly obtained search and arrest warrants, and initiated an Emergency Protective Order against him. The officer, along with Napa Police Special Investigations Unit officers, served the warrants and protective order at Vargas’ house, which is located in southeast St. Helena, near vineyards and just blocks from St. Helena High School and St. Helena Primary School. Though arrested there, Vargas reported his actual residence as another home in central St. Helena. He also claimed an occupation as a “cellar worker” rather than coach.
Vargas has a history of domestic violence as well. In June of 2011 he was arrested when Sheriff’s Deputies were called by a woman who reported that Vargas, a former boyfriend of hers, had assaulted her. She reported that they had been arguing, and he punched her in the face, and pushed her into a car window. The Napa Valley Register reported that the incident happened at 4 am at a location on the Silverado Trail between St. Helena and Calistoga. He was arrested at his home, the same Kennedy court location, on June 5, 2011, and charged with inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, former spouse, or co-habitant (domestic violence), and false imprisonment by violence, according to arrest records.
Two years later, on September 3, 2013, he was charged with driving an unregistered vehicle and on a suspended license, failure to appear on a vehicle code violation, along with a probation violation and another charge of domestic violence. Details of that arrest were not available, and it is not clear if the arrest was for a new charge of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant, or if it was related to the prior incident. He was arrested again, on December 8 2013, for driving with a suspended license.
Vargas was charged in this incident with contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony, and sending harmful matter with the intent to seduce a minor. Investigators with the Napa Police are still looking for any additional information that anyone may have, and hope any other victims will step forward. Anyone who can provide any information is encouraged to contact Detective Pat Wilson at 707-257-9338.
In 2012, according to Napanews.org, Vargas signed a Coach’s Pledge while coaching the NVFC Napa Indians, that reads “ I, [Coach], pledge to have a ZERO tolerance for any form of sexual abuse and if any abuse is suspected, it will be immediately reported to the appropriate authorities.” Upon completing this pledge, coaches were presented with a certificate and teal ribbon pin in recognition of April’s Secual Assault Awareness Month.