Court documents detail arrest of former trainer accused of attempting to meet minor for sexual purposes


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – He was mostly silent when placed in the back of a Kern County Sheriff’s Office patrol car, but Fernando Pruneda said he knew why he was handcuffed .

“I don’t even know what I’m thinking,” Pruneda said when detectives noted this was her second arrest for attempting to meet underage boys for sexual purposes, court documents show.

When asked if he had lost his job as a basketball coach at McFarland High School for his first offense, which occurred in 2018, Pruneda nodded and replied, “That’s why they told me. let go, “say the recently released documents.

Pruneda, 39, had been in detention for less than a month when she was arrested for allegedly attempting to establish an affair with a detective posing as a minor online.

Accused of three crimes, Pruneda is being held without bail. His next court hearing is March 11.

According to court documents, an account later determined to be owned by Pruneda contacted the detective’s decoy account on November 13 on the Grindr dating app. The detective’s account indicated that he was a 14 year old boy.

The documents contain screenshots of their conversation.

Pruneda tells the boy that he is “very handsome” and asks him if he wants to meet him. He asks the boy’s age and the detective replies that he will be 15 next month.

“Oh it’s koo… can you go out?” Pruneda asks.

The boy asks if they will need condoms. After learning that the boy doesn’t have any, Pruneda says they will.

Pruneda refuses to send the boy a photo of himself.

“I can’t put a picture know you,” he said.

He agrees to meet at Fruitvale Norris Park in northwest Bakersfield.

Detectives drove an undercover vehicle to the park. They noticed a blue Mazda driving slowly along the southern edge of Norris Road past the park.

To confirm that the Mazda was the suspect vehicle, detectives changed the meeting place to a gas station at Fruitvale Avenue and Norris Road, according to the documents.

The Mazda entered the parking lot and its driver, Pruneda, was arrested and questioned, according to the documents. They performed a records check and learned that he had recently served time for a similar offense.

In the previous case, Pruneda was accused of suing a McFarland first-year basketball player for sex. Investigators said they found text messages in which he pressured the 14-year-old boy for sexual favors.

A detective in the case messaged Pruneda posing as the basketball player, and Pruneda arranged to meet him for sex, sheriff officials said.

Pruneda made a strong plea in October 2020 to contact a minor to commit a sex offense and was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.

The earlier arrest may have been on Pruneda’s mind on November 13 as he sent a message to the decoy account referring to law enforcement, according to the documents.

Pruneda asked, “But since you don’t like being with cops,” according to the documents.


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