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Former Water Polo Coach Sentenced to Four Years

April 20, 2006|By Mary O'Keefe

For more than 20 years Michael Huber had been an example of high Christian morals and devotion to community and children. He was sentenced last week in a Pasadena courtroom to four years and eight months in prison for child pornography.

Before being arrested, the La Crescenta resident spoke to church groups and PTA audiences, impressing them with his compassion and his understanding of today's youth. He spoke and everyone listened. That was not the case Monday, when he sat and listened to former friends ask him why he had taken their trust and victimized their children.

Huber, 50, a former church youth leader and volunteer coach for the water polo team at Crescenta Valley High School, was arrested late last year and charged with six felony counts of using a minor under the age of 14 for creating obscene material, two misdemeanor counts of possession of child pornography, and two misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. He was released after posting 10 percent of his $140,000 bail and was being electronically monitored at a Crescenta Valley house. On April 13, Huber accepted a plea bargain agreement by pleading no contest to the charges and surrenderingto authorities. It was also a time for victims and their families to confront him.

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Huber entered the courtroom and never looked at any of the victims or their families.

"I trusted you," one of the victim's mother said during the victim impact statement session. "You show no sign of repentance…. You used us, used so many people all for self-serving gratification."

For many of the families Huber had offered hope for their sons. A friend and business partner of Huber's, who asked to remain anonymous for legal reasons, said Huber helped many of the boys plan for college and the future. He said part of Huber's life was in the shadows.

"He liked the swimmer's body," said the friend, who added that Huber hid this from him and from many who knew him.

"You and I go back a lot of years," the stepfather of one of the victims said. "It was easy for you to look at me when I was buying you lunch or giving you a check. You always looked me right in the eye … You were part of our family but you really should have been a professional actor ? you fooled the police department, the schools and the church."

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