LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A judge has ruled that attorneys for multiple plaintiffs who are suing the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando, alleging they were sexually abused by a former wrestling coach, can conduct a deposition of the incarcerated man in prison.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Rico’s order on Monday, Dec. 2, allows the plaintiffs’ attorneys to video record their questioning of 59-year-old Terry Terrell Gillard of Sylmar, who is also a defendant in the civil litigation.
On Oct. 1, Gillard — a former wrestling coach at Poly High School and the Boys and Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley — was sentenced in San Fernando Superior Court to 71 years behind bars, after being convicted May 7 on three felony counts each of committing a lewd act on a child, lewd acts on a child 14 or 15 and oral copulation of a person under 18, along with 28 felony counts of procuring a child to engage in a lewd act and 10 misdemeanor counts of child molestation.
The crimes involved minors who Gillard met through the wrestling teams at the high school and the club between 1991 and 2017, according to evidence presented during his trial.
The victims were between the ages of 11 and 17, according to Deputy District Attorney Cathy Lee.
“Gillard is unquestionably a crucial witness relative to his perpetration of the crimes that have led to this civil litigation and in particular his position as a wrestling coach at both LAUSD and the Boys and Girls Club,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys state in their court papers. “Beyond the plaintiffs, he is among the most crucial witness to the abuse that he perpetrated upon these minors over whom he held so much control.”
Evidence presented during the criminal trial showed that Gillard sexually abused children as far back as 1991, when he directed an 11-year old to have sex with an adult woman in the backseat of his Cadillac while he watched from the front seat.
Other criminal trial evidence showed that Gillard directed child wrestlers between 2014 and 2017 to perform sex acts while he watched, including in his vehicles and in a van owned and maintained by the Boys and Girls Club, according to the plaintiff’s’ lawyers.