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Swim instructor, 19, charged with child sexual abuse in Rancho Santa Fe

RANCHO SANTA FE — The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has charged a 19-year-old swim instructor with sexually abusing a student during swim lessons in Rancho Santa Fe, and is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying additional victims. 

Nicholas Piazza was arrested and booked into the Vista Detention Center on Sept. 29, charged with performing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, committing a felony while on bail and contempt of court.

The seven-year-old victim told his mother Piazza had sexually abused him twice during private swim lessons between Sept. 7 and 29, and the child’s mother contacted Child Welfare Services. The case was immediately referred to the Sheriff’s Child Abuse Unit, according to the department.

Piazza also faced separate child sex abuse charges from the District Attorney’s Office in 2021, and was prohibited from working where children are present and from being in the presence of a child unless another adult was present. 

According to Sgt. Howard Kluge, Piazza was working as an independent swim instructor at the time of the most recent arrest in September. He previously worked as an instructor at Callan Swim School in San Marcos, Kluge said.

Anyone whose child may have been abused by Piazza is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Child Abuse Unit at 858-285-6293. Individuals can also anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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