Former instructor accused of sexual contact
A 61-year-old man who taught tennis in Sunnyvale is accused of having unlawful sexual contact with two underage sisters, city officials and prosecutors said Wednesday.
Matt Reza Montana, a former instructor at the Sunnyvale Tennis Center, was arrested Dec. 5 by Department of Public Safety officers based on information from one of the victims who claimed he molested her. Officers investigated further and identified another victim, city officials said.
Montana, 61, of San Jose, is facing 31 counts, a majority being lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 in addition to a single charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Pinaki Chakravorty said.
He appeared at the Palo Alto Courthouse this morning and didn’t enter a plea. He’s scheduled to return to court on Jan. 11, Chakravorty said.
One of the victims told a friend about the alleged molestation and the friend told her own mother. The friend’s mother then told the victim’s mother, who decided to have her daughter see a therapist, who encouraged the victim to talk with law enforcement, Chakravorty said.
The first victim had tennis lessons with Montana one to three times a week and was allegedly abused between 2006 and 2013, Chakravorty said.
One charge was filed on behalf of the second victim, the first victim’s sister, who was allegedly abused from 2009 to 2011, according to Chakravorty.
Montana is a registered sex offender previously convicted of sexual battery in 1996, when he was sentenced to three years of probation and a year in jail, city officials said.
He went back to jail in 1999 when he failed to comply with his probation and was later released under the condition that he register as a sex offender with San Jose police, a requirement he completed, according to city officials.
Montana didn’t inform his employer BG Tennis, Sunnyvale’s contractor for its tennis programs, that he was registered as a sex offender as required by law, city officials said.
BG Tennis operated the tennis program from 2004 until 2011, when it told the city of its plans to end operations. The city took over the tennis program between January and April of 2012.
Montana stopped teaching tennis in Sunnyvale when the city contracted with Lifetime Tennis for lessons in May 2012. He was giving private tennis lessons at De Anza College in Cupertino and West Valley College in Saratoga at time of his arrest, according to city officials.
He has also taught tennis to adults and children at other courts in Sunnyvale, Cupertino and San Jose, city officials said.
Public safety Chief Frank Grgurina said in a statement:
“We are asking anyone who may have additional information about Mr. Montana to contact Sunnyvale DPS about any illegal sexual behavior.”
As of this morning, investigators aren’t aware of any additional victims.
Montana remains in custody on $655,000 bail, according to online jail records. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the department’s investigations unit at (408) 730-7120.