Md. baseball instructor charged with sexually abusing minor he was coaching

A Gaithersburg, Maryland, man was arrested in early May and accused of sexually abusing a minor he was coaching, and Montgomery County police are concerned there may be more victims.

Damon Junior Cruz has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor and displaying obscene material to a minor. He’s since been released on bond.

Police began investigating the 32-year-old in April, after a 12-year-old reported the abuse, which charging documents state took place between September 2022 and April of this year. Cruz was giving the boy private hitting and pitching lessons at The Baseball Zone in Gaithersburg, according to charging documents.

During some of those lessons, the boy said Cruz repeatedly showed him obscene and pornographic content. The boy told his school counselor it made him uncomfortable, but he was hesitant to come forward out of fear of retaliation from Cruz, who often spoke about possessing weapons and having “friends who would beat people up if he needed them to,” according to charging documents.

Police have included a picture of Cruz in a news release and are asking anyone who have had a similar experience with Cruz to call the Special Victims Investigation Unit at 240-773-5400 or call Montgomery County Crime Solvers at 866-411-8477.

WTOP has reached out to The Baseball Zone for comment.

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Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

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