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Former Boys and Girls Club athletic director Dwayne Kilgore sentenced to 150 years to life

A former athletic director of the Sonoma Valley Boys and Girls Club was sentenced Wednesday to 150 years to life in prison for molesting three boys he met and groomed through his role at the youth organization.

The sentence for Paul Dwayne Kilgore, 70, of Sonoma Valley, was handed down by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Robert Laforge, who presided over a six-day trial that ended in March with Kilgore’s conviction on six counts of child molestation.

The molestation of the boys occurred over a period of six years during trips to local pools, an arcade and visits by the boys to Kilgore’s house, prosecutors said.

“This pedophile was finally brought to justice, and will serve a sentence that will prevent him from preying on any more children,” said District Attorney Jill Ravitch, in a statement announcing the sentencing.

Kilgore had been athletic director at the club for a decade before he voluntarily resigned in 2013 after club leadership barred staff from interacting with club members outside of club hours or off campus. Kilgore used his position as athletic director for the organization to establish connections with the boys, according to Deputy District Attorney Javier Vaca, who prosecuted the case.

In trial, he called Kilgore, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“We are proud our local law enforcement acted quickly, prosecutors were effective and that justice was served,” Cary Dacy, president and CEO of the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club, said in an email Wednesday. “We are especially pleased that Mr. Kilgore will never be able to put a child in harm’s way again.”

The case was touched off in September 2016 by Kilgore’s arrest at his Academy Lane home, where he lived with a sister and elderly father. It prompted a wave of reports to authorities from people claiming to be victims or knowing of victims, in incidents ranging from the late 1970s to today, according to Healdsburg police, who helped investigate the allegations.

Before his arrival in Sonoma County, Kilgore previously worked at the San Bruno Recreation Center and for St. Robert’s Catholic School in San Bruno. After he resigned from the Sonoma Valley Boys and Girls Club he worked briefly Boys & Girls Club of Petaluma’s after-school program in 2014.

The case developed through the eye-witness testimony of a Nick Egan, head of the private Healdsburg School, who in August 2016 observed Kilgore talking with two pre-teen boys in the hot tub and shower area of Healdsburg’s Parkpoint Health Club about circumcision.

Later, while the three were standing naked, Kilgore pointed to a boy’s penis and brushed a hand against his bare thigh, investigators said in warrant documents tied to the case.

Egan said the interaction made him uncomfortable, and he reported his observations to the front desk of the health club. Law enforcement was then contacted and the investigation led to one of the boys in the Parkpoint incident disclosing that Kilgore had touched his penis on multiple occasions. He was 11 at the time, but the first incident occurred when he was 6 years old, he told authorities. The crimes occurred in the locker rooms at local pools and in the defendant’s bedroom.

Further investigation led to two more victims making allegations about Kilgore. One boy, now 15, testified that Kilgore touched his penis on multiple occasions, under similar circumstances as the first victim - in the locker room at local swimming pools and in the defendant’s bedroom. The victim said the abuse began when he was 11.

According to the DA’s office, the third victim, now 16, described four crimes that occurred in the defendant’s bedroom on two separate occasions, all when the victim was 13 years old. In each of the crimes, the victim’s penis was touched by Kilgore or by another boy at Kilgore’s request.

In the trial, Lynnette Brown, Kilgore’s attorney, described the accusations as a “misunderstanding” that has just “snowballed.” She described Kilgore as a church-going “mentor” to the Sonoma Valley boys who was teaching them about puberty in his role overseeing the local Boys & Girls Club’s “Smart Boys Club.”

Four additional witnesses testified in the trial about incidents where Kilgore had molested them. Those acts could not be prosecuted under the statute of limitations. Three of the uncharged victims were from San Bruno, where Kilgore spent a decade as a coach associated with the San Bruno Rec Center and St. Robert Catholic School. One uncharged victim was from Sonoma County.

Reached at his office at the Healdsburg School on Wednesday, Egan said, “It is the responsibility of us all to ensure the safety of our children. I’m glad that justice has been served in this case and I wish healing for everyone involved.”

Detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Sex Assault unit worked in collaboration with Healdsburg police on the case.

“Good work from our detectives and Healdsburg PD to protect the public from any future crimes by this man,” said the Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday in a Facebook post about the sentencing. “We also really appreciate the victims coming forward and working with us, trusting and believing in us.”

Email Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.

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