Education

Their soccer coach was arrested for sex trafficking. Now students are raising money for victims

After a soccer coach at John F. Kennedy High School was arrested on sex trafficking charges last year, music students are dedicating their benefit concert Thursday to a nonprofit that helps sex crime victims.

Proceeds from the 7 p.m. performance will benefit WEAVE, short for Women Escaping a Violent Environment.

Boys soccer coach Elan Daniel Seagraves was arrested Christmas Day on suspicion of selling underage girls for sex after a 17-year-old girl called 911 and told police she was being forced into human trafficking and that the man responsible was waiting in a nearby vehicle. Police found Seagraves, 34, in the car with another teenage girl.

He was charged with pandering, false imprisonment and human trafficking, all felonies. Authorities do not believe the victim was a Kennedy student.

"With the incident of our former soccer coach being arrested for sex trafficking, we chose WEAVE as a means of fighting back," said Chris Wong, a section leader in the marching band.

Kennedy senior and clarinet section leader Lucy Salazar initially proposed WEAVE, or Women Escaping a Violent Environment, as the beneficiary of the concert.

"We want to make a statement that we don't want this to be happening around our students," Salazar said. "... The event is a community thing, so we are trying to get as many people sitting in chairs and being unified."

She called the arrest of Seagraves "very worrisome. It really put me down," she said. "It put everyone down. "

Salazar, a member of We for She, a campus club that spreads the word about sexual violence and trafficking, said the arrest was "a wake-up call to know sex trafficking is an issue."

WEAVE has programs that combat sex trafficking, sexual assault and domestic abuse. The organization also offers assistance to victims of such crimes.

The annual benefit concert is the Kennedy High School music department's way of giving back to the community, said Jeremy Hammond, one of the school's band directors, in a statement. The students hope to sell enough $5 tickets to raise $2,000 for WEAVE.

The concert will feature performances from the school's concert band, jazz band, choir and percussion ensemble. It will be held in the school's auditorium at 6715 Gloria Drive in Sacramento.

A court hearing for Seagraves was continued Wednesday to allow attorneys on both sides more time to review evidence obtained through search warrants. Seagraves did not appear in court.

The next hearing on the case will be March 13.

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