Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Details in the case of a former coach at St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, were made public after he pleaded guilty to one charge of a sex crime involving a juvenile.

35-year-old Angel Rafael Cardona was arrested in July of 2023. The original criminal complaint charged Cardona with enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and attempted production of child pornography.

When he was arrested, St. Thomas More administrators sent a letter to parents to reassure them that Cardona had been hired at the end of the 2023 school year and had not been with the students.

KADN dug into Cardona's background and discovered that he had previously been head football coach at East Jefferson High School in the New Orleans area but had resigned for personal reasons in 2022.

A release issued by the United States Attorney's Office- Western District of Louisiana after the plea revealed details about the Cardona case.

Information presented to U.S. District Judge David Joseph indicate that Cardona began using the chat app Whisper June 2023. The person he was chatting with, unbeknownst to Cardona, was an undercover law enforcement agent posing as a 13-year-old girl. The exchange began after Cardona sent a private message asking about a post she had made about summer school.

From the beginning of this online relationship, Cardona initiated conversations about sex, sexual experiences, and the undercover agent's body. The agent repeatedly made reference to the fact that she was 13-years-old.

According to case information, the two discussed the girl's sexual inexperience and became more graphic and detailed as time went on. Cardona requested pictures of her and asked for images containing sexual material.

Two days later, he asked if she had an account on another online chat site, and the communication continued through the Kik app. The conversations continued between June 8, 2023, and July 10, 2023. The agent, still posing as a young girl, asked that Cardona contact her through text message and to provide a phone number because she was having trouble with Kik.

The exchanges continued through text messages for another two weeks, during which time Cardona explicitly asked for her to produce and send him child pornography.

The agent made excuses about her mother being home, and Cardona told her to be sneaky in order to provide him with the pictures.

Cardona eventually convinced her to meet in person at Veterans Park in Lafayette on July 24, 2023. He admitted that he intended to meet the person he believed was a minor female for the purpose of sexual activity that would be a crime under Louisiana law.

He pleaded guilty to one count of use of a facility to cause a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

He faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. He will be sentenced on April 25, 2024.

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