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Former Basketball coach, prominent Valley sports fan 'Mr. ORNG' arrested on sex crime charges

Patrick Battillo has since been dismissed from the district
Patrick Battillo
Posted at 9:05 AM, Apr 10, 2024

PHOENIX — Former Peoria High School basketball coach and prominent Valley sports fan known as "Mr. ORNG" has been arrested on charges related to child sex crimes, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Patrick Battillo was arrested Tuesday, according to MCSO.

On Tuesday morning, the Peoria Police Department was made aware of a sexual offense investigation regarding an employee at Peoria High School.

Peoria PD officials say school administrators learned 37-year-old Battillo had possibly solicited several inappropriate photos and videos from underaged students in exchange for money.

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During an investigation, detectives spoke with the people involved and learned Battillo had been asking the juvenile victims to send videos and photos of themselves in various sex acts and various states of nudity, according to Peoria PD.

Battillo was the head boys basketball coach and a volunteer at the school.

He was arrested in Goodyear and later booked into the Maricopa County Jail on several charges including luring a minor for sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking.

Officials say a second employee, 46-year-old Holly Holgate, was arrested for hindering prosecution and failing to report child abuse or neglect after she reportedly gave Battillo a heads-up that police were looking for him, allowing him to leave the school before he could be arrested.

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Battillo has been going to Phoenix Suns games dressed completely in orange for more than a decade and garnered popularity among fans, even being featured in NBA commercials and social media posts.

The investigation is ongoing. ABC15 will continue following this case and bring you updates as soon as they become available.

Peoria Unified School District provided the following statement regarding the investigation:

We are aware that two trusted members of our Peoria High School community were arrested last night. We are working to ensure that those who may have been victimized receive the space and care they need, and we are cooperating with Peoria Police Department on their investigation.

Patrick Battillo was the varsity basketball coach and volunteer, but yesterday we were made aware that he may have committed sex crimes involving children. As soon as we became aware of the allegations, we contacted the Peoria Police Department, the Arizona Department of Education and have filed a report with the Department of Child Safety.

Dr. Battillo began coaching basketball in 2019 and completed a fingerprint and background check clearance. Until now, no reports of misconduct have been brought to our attention from parents, students or community members. Peoria Police also arrested Holly Holgate, one of our teachers, for hindering prosecution and failure to report child abuse and neglect. She has been with Peoria High School since 2000 and had an up-to-date fingerprint clearance card.

We have been cooperating with Peoria Police as this is still an active criminal investigation. To preserve the privacy of those who bravely came forward to share what they know, we are not able to provide additional information.