LAS VEGAS (AP) — The suspended coach of the nation’s top high school football program was acquitted Tuesday of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, after the mother of their young son testified that she fabricated a claim that he assaulted her last Christmas.
Brooke Stewart was granted immunity from prosecution for perjury before telling a local judge that she lied in a sworn police statement claiming Kenneth “Kenny” Sanchez punched her in the face, pushed her to the ground and pulled out some of her hair extensions.
Stewart said she was upset when Sanchez picked up their then-10-month-old son because Sanchez hadn’t spent the holiday with her, and she was emotional because it had been a year since the death of her mother.
She testified that she took antidepressant medication and drank alcohol before making a 911 call in which she said Sanchez attacked her and took their child.
Justice of the Peace Amy Chelini said after hearing Stewart’s testimony that she believed Sanchez had been falsely accused.
Sanchez hugged his older brother, UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez, outside the courthouse.
Kenny Sanchez, 37, said he hoped to use the experience of his arrest and trial as an example for the teenagers he coaches at Bishop Gorman High School.
“It is important for us to talk about these things and to communicate to our kids what’s right, what’s wrong and how to go about living their lives,” he said. “I learned that forgiveness is a great thing. Brooke is part of my family. We have a son together, and we’re going to be part of each other’s lives together forever.”
Bishop Gorman didn’t immediately say Sanchez has his job back leading the Gaels.
The school says it’ll review the judge’s findings as part of its internal review.
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