A judge Friday sentenced the former head swim coach at Modesto's SOS Club and numerous swim clubs in the Bay Area to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing girls who hoped he was their ticket to Olympic gold.
Andy King, 61, showed no emotion as Judge David Cena sentenced him in a packed courtroom, but tension in the room was palpable.
"Mr. King is one of the worst ones I've come across in 12½ years," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Ray Mendoza, who had sought the maximum penalty -- 42 years. "He never once said I was sorry. He has no remorse."
King did not address the judge before the sentence was handed down. But some insights into how he saw the girls were made public Friday during testimony by a forensic psychiatrist his defense attorneys had hired.
"What he's looked for all his life is unconditional love, with no restrictions," said Dr. Paul Burton of San Francisco. "Rules of law do not apply."
Burton said King told him that the victims "were very open to the relationship and some of the younger ones initiated it."
That prompted one of the victims to briefly leave the courtroom, saying she had to go choke. Many of the victims and their supporters sat in the first three rows of the courtroom. Months ago, when the women first appeared in court, King stared at each of them.
Friday, he never looked back at all.
Several of the women told the court in an emotional hearing earlier this month how King manipulated them into having sex and how the abuse had damaged their lives, causing relationship problems and making them quit the sport they loved.
"It started with small brushes of his hand in his private office, which escalated over time to him giving me wine, fondling my breasts, premeditating intercourse by buying me birth control, digital penetration and oral and vaginal copulation," one of the East Bay accusers told the court.
On Friday, the judge heard primarily from Burton.
The psychiatrist said he spent 9½ hours talking with and testing King, and he saw the former swim coach as a man who has elevated levels of narcissism but does not meet the criteria for narcissistic disorder.
Such people have an inflated sense of self-importance, need extra attention and have a grandiose shield they put up to the world.
But "at the inner core, there is very low self-esteem," Burton said.
When King talked with Burton about the girls he abused, he said "it wasn't just purely sexual relationships. They were full-blown dating relationships. They went on dates, out to dinner."
At the same time, though, King was the authority figure, the trusted coach the girls spent hours with every day. At the pool, he was a stern taskmaster who demanded excellence. When he was alone with the victims, according to Burton and the documents, there were dinners, kisses and gifts. He said he loved them; he asked many of the girls to marry him.
According to his probation report, King said, "I have never coerced anyone into having sex with me." Also according to the probation report, the women who accused King of abusing them are people he would "die for."
Allegations of King's abuse of girls, which ranged from fondling to oral copulation to intercourse, date back to 1978, court records show. In September, he pleaded no contest to 20 felony child molestation charges.
Since his arrest in April on charges of molesting a 14-year-old girl he coached at San Jose Aquatics, King has remained in custody in lieu of $3 million bail. The felony charges against him involve the San Jose victim and three girls from the East Bay he coached in the late 1980s and early 1990s. King coached at Modesto's SOS Club from 1998 until San Jose Aquatics hired him in 2000. Police interviewed more than 10 women from the East Bay, as well as a young woman from Oak Harbor, Wash., where King fled just as rumors were catching up with him.
Mendoza said he believes there are other victims who have not come forward because they're afraid or embarrassed. But according to Burton, "Mr. King said over his entire life, he had sexual relations with six, possibly eight underage swimmers."
King told Burton he had not had sex with a minor since 1983, but the psychiatrist said he challenged him on the point.
"I do think there is an attraction Mr. King has for that age group," 10 to 17, Burton said. Girls that age "are less likely to injure Mr. King's self-esteem," he said.
Pressed about King minimizing the impact of his behavior on the victims, Burton said King "often did not believe his sexual conduct had the potential to be psychologically damaging." If the girls were really hurt, "I wish they'd said something to me years ago," King told Burton.
Jamie Harley, King's attorney, argued that the place for her client was in treatment.
"I believe this is a good man in many ways who has done some bad things," she said.
Harley said her office had dozens of letters and e-mails from King supporters. She read some of them but did not read the names of the people who wrote them, so they were not made part of the court record.
Outside the courthouse, one of the victims said, "Yea, it's done. It's up to us to make it done for each person" so everyone can heal, she said.