A former Surrey soccer coach has been sentenced to seven years in a U.S. prison after pleading guilty to pursuing sex with a minor.
Sentencing of Kuldip “Kelly” Singh Mahal, 47, took place Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, after a surprise guilty plea in January, and includes 10 years of supervised release following his prison term. Mahal will also be required to register as a sex offender.
According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Mahal – a volunteer coach for a Surrey United U16 boys team – was arrested Feb. 3, 2015 at a park in Burlington, Wash., after crossing into the U.S. at Blaine. Mahal was at the park expecting to meet a 12-year-old girl whom he believed he had enticed into having sex with him, the release states.
He had actually been corresponding with an undercover agent posing as the girl, and sent multiple sexually explicit messages and photos, expressing interest in a sexual relationship.
“We have so many child victims, and if we can stop abuse of real children by doing these sting operations, then it is a good use of government resources,” U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik was quoted in the release.
A jury trial had been scheduled to get underway Jan. 19, however, Mahal agreed to a plea deal a week before his trial was to commence.
Mahal was suspended from the Surrey United Soccer Club following his arrest last year.