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Nicholas Piazza is a former swim instructor at Callan Swim School in San Marcos. File photo/Laura Place
Nicholas Piazza is a former swim instructor at Callan Swim School in San Marcos. File photo/Laura Place
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Former San Marcos swim instructor pleads guilty to child sex abuse charges

A former North County swim instructor will serve eight years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday in Vista to felony and misdemeanor child molestation charges.

Nicholas Piazza, 20, pleaded guilty to one felony count of lewd and lascivious acts against a minor under 14 and two misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child.

Piazza was arrested in the summer of 2021 on suspicion of inappropriately touching a six-year-old boy during a swim lesson while working as a swim instructor at Callan Swim School in San Marcos. 

He was later released on bail and prohibited from working with children. However, he was arrested again in the fall of 2022 on charges of inappropriately touching another child, age 7, while working as a private swim instructor in Rancho Santa Fe. 

Piazza has since been held without bail since September. Earlier this year, a felony charge was added after law enforcement identified a third young victim who was also allegedly touched inappropriately by Piazza during private swim lessons in the summer of 2022. 

While the plea deal resulted in just one felony charge, Deputy District Attorney Isaac Jackson, who prosecuted the case, said the plea deal and associated punishment took all the charges into account equally. 

“Although the change of plea lists one felony and two misdemeanors, we don’t see any of the acts as more or less serious than the others,” Jackson said. 

“I am hopeful the outcome will bring healing, but there is only so much the criminal justice system can do. This defendant’s acts have forever scarred these families and robbed this community of a feeling of safety when doing something as simple as getting swim lessons for a child. I’m glad the families will have some closure and the defendant will answer for these crimes. My hope is that everyone can move forward from this case and that our community is a little safer knowing that this defendant will be in custody for a significant period of time and will have to register as a sex offender when he is released.”

A sentencing hearing will take place on Sept. 27 in Vista Superior Court. 

Defense attorney Andrew Limberg declined to comment until after sentencing. 

Piazza’s child sexual abuse charges also resulted in a civil lawsuit by one of the victim’s parents against his former employer, Callan Swim School. The school settled the case for $40,000

For the latest crime reports in Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar, please visit The Coast News’ Weekly Crime Reports. For up-to-the-minute arrest reports in North County, check out Daily Arrest Logs. Read more local crime news here.

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