After being accused of sexual assault a former Lincoln High School soccer coach, Said Cajica, continued coaching youth soccer teams and on February 21 changed his name to Xavier Cajica-Bautista.
Said’s path to becoming Xavier started seven years ago at San Diego High School, where the 31-year-old first worked as a special education assistant.
According to a lawsuit filed against him: “From 2012 to 2014 [San Diego High] principals Dianne Cordero and Gretchen Rhoads observed...Cajica...flirting with underage female students... Cordero [followed him] around campus…to monitor his…inappropriate behavior…
"Rhoads described...Cajica had a ‘creepy vibe’ like he should not be hanging around young children.” (Cajica says there is no truth to what they were thinking about him.)
In August 2014 San Diego Unified School District approved Cajica to transfer his classroom job from San Diego High to Lincoln High, where he was already coaching soccer.
After hearing the news, Rhoads reportedly emailed Cordero, “Guess he was tired of us getting in his bidness!” Cordero reportedly replied, “We were ruining his game.” (Cajica says he transferred to keep an eye on his soccer players.)
The lawsuit alleged Cordero and Rhoads did not inform Lincoln administrators of Cajica’s “prior inappropriate behavior” at San Diego High and the district had no policy requiring them to do so, a failure that may have contributed to what happened next at Lincoln.
According to the lawsuit, filed by a Lincoln High student, Cajica met the plaintiff in her third period math class in the fall of 2015. She alleged Cajica gave her “extra attention” and would “walk with her to class and frequently have lunch with her.”
Then Cajica allegedly created a manager position for the soccer team so he could recruit the plaintiff and “gain access to her more frequently.”
“[In December 2015 he] used Facebook to arrange a meeting with Plaintiff where he picked her up and took her to Onyx Night Club in downtown San Diego.”
The plaintiff alleged Cajica took her to his home that night and committed statutory rape against her.
Cajica admits he was with the underage student at Onyx and brought her to his home that evening but says at the time he thought she was over 21. He says they were both intoxicated and he denies having sex with her.
He says they met at a nightclub the summer before, not at Lincoln, and they were never in the same class at Lincoln. He says he found out she was a minor and a student at his workplace after they went to Onyx together.
(A protective order reportedly prevents evidence about Cajica’s and the plaintiff’s classroom locations from being released. The lawsuit alleges the school district “produced hundreds of pages of documents identifying minor witnesses.”)
In February 2016 the mother of the high school junior reported Cajica to Lincoln administration after finding inappropriate texts on her daughter’s phone. (Cajica admits to the texts.) He was suspended from his special ed job and replaced by a new soccer coach.
But he continued to coach in youth soccer clubs. On December 10, 2016 soccernation.com published a list of 2016 Presidio Cup champions. Cajica was the coach of a champion boys soccer team with Point Loma’s Riptide Soccer Club.
In 2017 he coached for Chula Vista Futbol Club and from 2018 to the present he reportedly worked for Rebels Soccer Club in Chula Vista.
The president of Presidio, a San Diego youth soccer league, says Cal South, the umbrella association for competitive soccer in southern California, recently opened an investigation after questions were asked about Cajica’s work as a soccer coach under a new name.
On September 28, 2018 San Diego Unified School District agreed to pay the plaintiff $400,000. She reached a separate confidential settlement agreement with Cajica.
A San Diego Police Department spokesperson says the criminal case against Cajica was “thoroughly investigated and sent to the District Attorney’s office for prosecutorial review.”
A DA spokesperson says, “…there was insufficient evidence to support filing criminal charges…we can only file criminal charges when we believe we can prove them beyond a reasonable doubt…”