Federal Way Cheer Coach Sentenced for Sex Offenses Against Minors
SEATTLE, WA—Jeffrey Mendoza, 36, of Federal Way, Washington, was sentenced today, October 15, 2021, to six months in prison and must register as a sex offender, among other conditions. Mendoza pleaded guilty on September 15 to two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes and second-degree assault with intent to commit sexual exploitation of a minor.
Several of Mendoza’s teenage cheer students informed law enforcement that Mendoza had lured them to a rental property in the Puget Sound area with the promise of taking modeling photos. While at the rental property, Mendoza convinced them to either remove their clothing or wear sheer lingerie and pose in a sexually explicit manner while he photographed them. Mendoza also verbally abused, intimidated, and humiliated the victims in front of others if they were not compliant. The victims said they complied because they were afraid of him due to his emotional outbursts and threat of public humiliation.
Mendoza was brought to justice based upon the testimony of these victims, who provided victim impact statements to the court. Without their continued bravery throughout the investigation, Mendoza may well have continued his pattern of abuse with other children.
“This cheer coach exploited his position of trust and leadership to cause long-lasting harm to the children in his care,” said Special Agent in Charge Donald M. Voiret of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “Due to the hard work of our team at FBI Seattle, Washington State Patrol, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney, this predator will be held accountable for his actions and be identified as a sex offender.”
The case was investigated by FBI Seattle and the Washington State Patrol. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.
FBI Seattle is one of 56 FBI field offices located in major U.S. cities with nine satellite offices called resident agencies in Washington state. The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. For more information, visit www.fbi.gov or www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/seattle.