Olympic silver medalist Danny Harris was charged this week with six criminal counts for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a female student at Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel, where he was an assistant track coach.
The 51-year-old Pasadena man, who won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts each of contact with a minor for a sexual offense and child abuse and two misdemeanor counts of child annoyance.
The charges stem from messages that were allegedly sent by Harris between April and May, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. One of the girl’s relatives reportedly discovered the messages and alerted authorities, according to the D.A.’s office.
Harris was arrested last Friday afternoon by San Gabriel police and has remained behind bars since then, according to jail records. He is due back in an Alhambra courtroom on June 16 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
If convicted as charged, Harris could face up to seven years in state prison.
Harris had been an assistant track coach at Gabrielino High School until being relieved of his duties May 17, said San Gabriel police Lt. Riki Nakamura.
“The police department has been working closely with the San Gabriel Unified School District following a report of alleged inappropriate contacts between the walk-on athletic coach and a district student,” Nakamura said.
Harris won a silver medal in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1984 Olympics, finishing behind Edwin Moses. Harris ended Moses’ 122-race winning streak in 1987. Harris has held the world junior record in the 400 meter hurdles since 1984.