POMONA — A Claremont High School football standout pleaded no contest today to criminal charges alleging he had sex with two underage girls.
Tyler Singleton, 18, entered the pleas in Pomona Superior Court as part of plea bargain that carries a jail sentence of six months to a year.
Commissioner Wade D. Olson told Singleton he will determine the length of the jail term after he hears statements from people involved in the case at Singleton’s May 5 sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors charged Singleton, of Pomona, with a felony and a misdemeanor March 10 for allegedly having sex in January with a two underage girls, one 14 and one 15.
One of the girls who came forward in the case told police Singleton forced her to have sex in a bathroom at Cahuilla Park in Claremont.
Singleton admitted in interviews with police that he had sex with the girl, but he said the sex was consensual, said Claremont police Lt. Shelly Vander Veen.
Prosecutors did not charge Singleton with forceful rape — just statutory rape, which a spokeswoman for the Los County District Attorney’s Office called “the appropriate charges” based on the evidence prosecutors received.
Singleton, a senior, has been the high school’s starting running back since his sophomore year, and was the team’s leading rusher each of those three seasons. He was named to the All-Baseline League the past two seasons.
Besides serving a jail sentence, Singleton will be on probation for five years as a result of his conviction.
He will be prohibited from contacting the girls who accused him of rape, and he will face mandatory testing for HIV and AIDS, Olson and a prosecutor said.
If Singleton violates the terms of his probation or fails to arrive on time for sentencing, his plea bargain could be voided, potentially exposing him to a prison term of up to three and a half years.
“Do not be late,” Olson told Singleton. “Do not get in trouble. … If you mess up, don’t get back here, all bets are off.”
Singleton declined to comment after the hearing.
Before Singleton pleaded no contest, he and five supporters formed a circle, held hands and prayed in the hallway outside the courtroom.