SALINAS — John Anthony Fickas of Salinas pleaded no contest Friday to raping and sexually assaulting underaged teenagers and young adults he worked with as a North Salinas High School coach and local political campaign adviser.
According to a Monday press release from the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, Fickas pleaded no contest to six counts of sexual assault on five victims. Judge Pamela Butler will sentence Fickas on Feb. 26 to 28 years and eight months in state prison and order him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The DA’s Office said Fickas raped Victim 1, a former North Salinas High student whom he had coached, while she assisted him on election night, Nov. 3, 2015. She was 22 years old when he raped her while she was unconscious.
He sexually assaulted Victim 2, who was 15 years old and a North Salinas High student at the time, while she campaigned with him in 2009 to fulfill the school’s volunteer hours requirement. He sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.
Fickas raped Victim 3, who was 42 years old at the time, the day after a rabbit show in San Francisco. She had known Fickas for several years due to their common interest in raising rabbits and attending rabbit shows.
He sexually assaulted Victim 4, a 15-year-old North Salinas High student, while she assisted him with campaign efforts to satisfy her school volunteer hours requirement. He pleaded no contest to two forcible sex charges for sexual assaults he committed against her between 2010- 2012.
Fickas also pleaded no contest to aiding and abetting oral copulation on a person under the age of 18 for arranging, transporting and influencing Victim 5, a 15-year-old North Salinas High student, to have sexual relations with a prostitute.
The DA’s Office said Victim 2 reported to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in 2018 and Victim 1 reported to the Salinas Police Department in 2019. None of the five victims were acquainted with one another. After the initial filing of charges in July 2019, both law enforcement agencies received many calls reporting inappropriate conduct by Fickas, including reports from Victim 4 and Victim 5.
Fickas also pled no contest to a felony count of animal cruelty for neglecting to provide adequate sustenance, shelter and medical care for his collection of approximately 42 rabbits.
Contributed by local news sources