April 4, 2016 7:25 pm
Updated: April 5, 2016 2:01 pm

Former Surrey soccer coach guilty of seeking sex with 12-year-old sentenced to 7 years

A court sketch of Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal.

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A former Surrey soccer coach that pleaded guilty to seeking sex with a 12-year-old in Washington state was sentenced to seven years in prison in a Seattle court today.

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“We entrust teachers and coaches to serve as role models for our children and safeguard their welfare. This sentence should serve as a stern warning to those who mistakenly believe cyberspace affords them anonymity and they can use the Internet to sexually exploit children with impunity,” said Bradford Bench, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle.

Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal, of Surrey, was arrested by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE),  HSI and charged with attempted enticement of a minor in February 2015.

Investigators say the 47-year-old travelled from Surrey to Washington after allegedly answering a posting on the Vancouver Craigslist website. Little did he know, he was communicating with an undercover HSI special agent posing as a 12-year-old girl from northwest Washington.

Mahal, who worked as a facilities manager for a Vancouver tech firm, and was a volunteer coach for an under-16 soccer team in Surrey, allegedly crossed the border at Blaine and headed towards the park in Burlington where he had agreed to meet the girl. He was then arrested at the park.

In January 2016, Mahal pleaded to sex-related charges.

Mahal will be required to register as a sex offender.

~ with files from Canadian Press and Amy Judd

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