SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Orange County competitive cheerleading coach has been charged with multiple felonies for molesting six girls as young as 11 years old while coaching at a competitive cheer club and a Mission Viejo High School. He is also facing child molestation and child exhibition charges in Florida related to four young competitive cheer athletes he coached in Daytona Beach.
Erick Joseph Kristianson, 44, of Antioch, Tennessee, was arrested last week in Fargo, North Dakota on a warrant in the Orange County case.
Kristianson is facing seven felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14, five felony counts of a lewd acts upon a child age 14 or 15, two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor under 18, one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign objection of a minor under 16, and one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 16 years old.
He is facing a maximum sentence of 105 years to life plus five years and four months if convicted on all charges.
Authorities believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information about additional potential victims is asked to call Orange County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Austin Jones at 714-647-4016.
Kristianson worked as a competitive cheerleading coach at Magic All-Stars from 2002 to 2008 and as an assistant cheer coach at Trabuco Hills High School in 2005 where is accused of gaining access to six young girls that he molested in Orange County.
The allegations against Kristianson involving Orange County children athletes came to light in 2022 after he was arrested in Daytona Beach, Florida on suspicion of masturbating on camera to three children between the ages of 11 and 13 and touching the breasts of another 13-year-old girl. All of the Florida victims were students of Kristianson’s competitive cheer club in Daytona Beach.
After news reports regarding Kristianson’s arrest in Florida, a young woman contacted Orange County authorities to report she was molested by Kristianson beginning when she was 14 years old while he was her cheer coach. Kristianson is accused of picking up the girl from school or taking her home from cheer practice and engaging in sexual activity with her until she turned 16.
Kristianson is accused of molesting five other Orange County girls he coached between 2002 and 2007, routinely taking some of the girls to off-campus events and to his home where he would molest them. The girls ranged in age from 11 to 16 years old. One of the girls quit cheerleading after Kristianson is accused of molesting her at his home, but she did not report the abuse at the time.
In August 2022, Kristianson was arrested in Kansas on a warrant and extradited back to Florida to face charges for exposing himself to three teenage girls during a FaceTime call. He posted a $300,000 bond and was released without any restrictions on leaving the state.
Last week, Kristianson was arrested in Fargo, North Dakota on a felony warrant in connection with the Orange County case. He is currently being held without bail at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange.
“Pedophiles will never stop stalking and grooming their prey unless they are stopped,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This was not a predator hiding in the shadows waiting to grab innocent girls. He was hiding in plain sight as he assaulted girl after girl, thinking he would never be caught because they trusted him as a coach. Thankfully, he is in custody and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything it can to ensure he is held accountable for assaulting these young girls who thought they could trust him.”
Deputy District Attorney Raquel Cooper of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.