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Former Pecos coach will take plea in sex assault case

SANTA FE — A former assistant high school basketball coach is set to plead guilty to sexual assault involving female students, his lawyer confirmed Friday.

Dominick Baca, 30, is facing three counts of criminal sexual penetration and two counts of criminal sexual contact for having sex with two Pecos High School girls, one of whom was 14 at the time, going to back to 2017.

Baca was an assistant boys basketball coach who helped the Panthers win two state championships. The sex crimes allegedly occurred while Baca was living with the team’s star player, who was granted a hardship waiver by the New Mexico Activities Association to live with a coach.

Dominick Baca, right, sits with his attorney Tom Clark during a court hearing in June. Baca, a former assistant basketball coach at Pecos High School, is charged for having sex with two female students. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Baca also was recently charged with 33 counts of escape from a community release program, tampering with evidence and criminal damage to property for taking off his GPS monitor intended to keep him on house arrest pending trial, and for participating in basketball tournaments.

He was also reportedly seen at the high school basketball championships at the Pit in Albuquerque in March and was found to have been an Albuquerque Hooters restaurant, a Santa Fe tattoo parlor and a couple of school campuses. The violations, once discovered, put him back in jail.

Baca was in Las Vegas Magistrate Court Friday on the escape charges. His attorney, Tom Clark, told the Journal that it was put on the court record that there would be a global plea for both the sexual assault and escape cases. Clark did not give any specifics.

“There will be a plea in the sexual assault case,” he said. Prosecutor Tom Clayton of the Las Vegas District Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment Friday.

According to a recent court motion Clayton filed, Baca was heard in recorded jail phone calls telling family and friends that he is willing to plead guilty and register as a sex offender to avoid having to do prison time.

Two federal civil suits over the sexual assaults have been settled, according to court documents.

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