Former Ceres Dolphins swim coach Tracy Allen Bull pled guilty Tuesday to two misdemeanor counts of annoying and molesting two under-aged girls in 2016, thus ending his trial in the Stanislaus County Superior Court.
The victims were 14 and 17 years old at the time.
No charges were dismissed in exchange for his plea. Deputy District Attorney Ahnna Reicks was prosecuting Bull in court and was prepared to call six additional witnesses during her case when the defendant suddenly decided to plead guilty to the two charges.
Bull faces up to a maximum of two years in county jail and will have to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is set for Jan. 14 at 1:30 p.m.
The defendant had been the head coach for the recreational swim team, the Ceres Dolphins, for approximately 12 years when criminal charges were brought forward in 2016. The Ceres Dolphins is a non-profit organization for swimmers ages 5 to 18 years old.
District Attorney Ahnna Reicks spelled out for jurors how Bull nicknamed the
14-year-old “Chesty” and later “Nuggs” and began slowly feeding enticing her to
hear about an alleged sexual dream he had about her.
After being on the team about four months, Jane Doe #1 was approached by Bull with the suggestion that she “friend” him on Facebook. Days later on June 9, 2016 Bull began instant messaging her through Facebook.When the two engaged in a conversation about swimming, Bull then told the girl that he would be her “biggest fan” and his “favorite” but that it would be their secret.
The next day after swim practice Bull messaged the girl again about perfecting her breaststroke but the conversation turned when Bull suggested he was a “big Teddy bear.” He then tells the girl, “I have something to tell you. I don’t know if I should tell you. I don’t want you to be mad. I could get in trouble.” When the girl messaged, “What is it?,” Bull tells about having a dream about her, slowly feeding her small details to see if she’ll respond for him to reveal more, said Reicks.
He tells the girl to not to judge him and noted, “I’m so damned old and you’re so young” before sharing that he woke up from the dream “and went WTF?” Bull asked the girl if he should go further and shared that in the dream the two were lying down after a swim meet and that she was on his side and that he had his hand on her hip “for some reason and you pushed back into me.” The victim testified in court that she was disgusted and stopped communicating with Bull. She told her family and quit the team.
“She was horrified,” said Reicks. “She understood right then and there that this entire conversation just turned sexual.”
Bull messaged the girl a whole day and a half in an attempt to reach her, said the prosecutor.
When the girl’s family reported the incident to Ceres Police in June 2016, Bull’s cell phone was seized for a forensic examination. Detective Carlos Quiroz and Julio Amador found a string of “interesting” messages to another girl who was 17 at the time, said Reicks. She shared that investigators learned that Bull had messaged a swimmer who was talking to a college recruiter, to which Bull said, “You just don’t love me anymore.” Bull then spoke about a boy who liked her and that he was “jealous” and “born 30 years too early.” Bull said he would “treat you great – plus I’m rich.” Once the victim ignored Bull’s message he wrote, “So I don’t have a chance? Okay, I’ll still be your biggest fan.”
His defense attorney, Kirk McAllister tried to soften claims about the dream, saying Bull had been watching a movie with his wife and they were lying down and fell asleep with his hand on her hip and that he merely saw the girl’s face. He told the jury that they had to prove that Bull had an abnormal and unnatural sexual interest in a child and that acting inappropriately did not earn Bull a guilty conviction.