Former Surrey soccer coach pleads guilty to sex crime in U.S.

Online chats led to arrest at meeting place in Washington state

  • Jan. 13, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Kuldip (Kelly) Singh Mahal

Stephanie Ip, The Province

A former Surrey soccer coach who travelled into Washington state last year intending to have sex with a 12-year-old girl has pleaded guilty in U.S. court.

Kuldip (Kelly) Singh Mahal, who was 47 at the time of his February 2015 arrest, entered a guilty plea to the sex crime this week in a Seattle courthouse, according to documents filed Tuesday.

Authorities said that in mid-January 2015, Mahal responded to a Craigslist ad titled “Crazy and very young. Looking to explore myselfw4m.”

Unknown to Mahal, the ad had been posted by an undercover agent working with Homeland Security Investigations.

The Surrey man and the person he believed to be a 12-year-old named “K.J.” then began trading messages and photos.

“I really like what I read in your ad, our wants, needs are the same,” read the opening line of an email sent in response to the ad.

“I am looking for NSA (no strings attached) or ongoing casual/FWB (friends with benefits) relationship with someone who is open-minded and willing to try/chat about anything once.”

Court documents noted the correspondence grew to include “topics of a sexual nature and sexual innuendo,” with Mahal allegedly sending multiple photos of himself, and requesting the same from “K.J.”

The documents described how Mahal began making plans in late January to meet up with the girl at the Skagit River Park Playfields in Burlington, Wash., about 80 kilometres south of the border. When Mahal arrived at the park on Feb. 3, officers arrested him.

At the time of his arrest, Mahal was facilities manager for a Vancouver tech firm and a volunteer soccer coach with Surrey United. Shortly afterward, he was suspended by the soccer organization.

Mahal now awaits sentencing, which is scheduled for early April. He faces a recommended sentence of six-and-a-half to nine years in prison, although a longer sentence of up to 30 years is possible.

Mahal will also undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation prior to sentencing.

The investigation was conducted as a part of HSI’s Operation Predator. Since the operation’s launch in 2003, more than 10,000 persons have been arrested for crimes against children.

sip@theprovince.com

twitter.com/stephanie_ip

Click here to read more stories from The Province.

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

5 to start your day

Australian woman dies in avalanche at Whistler, two boys OK after falling through Coquitlam lake and more

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Most Read