🔴 A youth tennis coach has been sentenced to over 56 years in prison

🔴 He sexually assaulted a young girl and took explicit photos of her in public

🔴 The coach minimized his crimes in court and asked the judge for leniency

A former Monmouth County youth tennis coach convicted of 14 offenses including kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault has been sentenced to more than half a century in state prison.

Terry Kuo, 32, of Colts Neck was sentenced in Monmouth County Superior Court on Friday to 56.5 years behind bars. Kuo, also known as Victor Lee, will be 72 years old before he is eligible for parole, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago.

One of Kuo's tennis students went to the Marlboro police in November 2017 to report that she was the victim of various sex crimes. The abuse began in August 2016 when she was 12 years old and continued for more than a year, authorities said.

Kuo was convicted in early October of 14 offenses including two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, and first-degree child endangerment for producing child pornography.

Former NJ tennis coach downplays assaults

Before he was sentenced on Friday, Kuo attempted to minimize his crimes to Superior Court Judge Jill O’Malley. He said his victim had been physically "contacted" but avoided describing his crimes as assaults in video recorded by the Asbury Park Press.

Terry Kuo at his Dec. 1, 2023 sentencing (Asbury Park Press)
Terry Kuo at his Dec. 1, 2023 sentencing (Asbury Park Press)

"There was no injuries. This was not a girl who was repeatedly raped, you know, by a person for years on end," Kuo said to O'Malley. "Please do the right thing and not see me as a monster."

But O'Malley was not swayed. She pointed to sexually explicit photos he had taken of himself assaulting the victim outdoors and in public. Kuo also took explicit photos of the victim in the woods, in his car, and in broad daylight at a tennis court.

"He had so little regard for the victim and such an overwhelming need to satisfy his own deviant sexual urges, he could not control himself even when others may have observed. He treated her like garbage," O'Malley said.

Investigators found the digital child sexual abuse materials on his electronic devices, officials said.

Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill O'Malley sentences Terry Kuo Dec. 1, 2023. (APP)
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill O'Malley sentences Terry Kuo Dec. 1, 2023. (APP)

Tennis coach used lavish gifts to coerce 12-year-old victim

During Kuo's two-week trial, the victim testified in court that Kuo had showered her with expensive gifts including jewelry, designer clothing, and electronics as he tried to convince her to engage in sexual activity.

Investigators curious as to how Kuo managed to afford those gifts on a tennis instructor's salary dug into his finances.

They found he was leading an identity theft ring throughout six states involving more than a dozen people including his parents and a cousin, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said in 2019.

Operation Plastic Army organization chart
Operation Plastic Army organization chart (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

The group used 120 credit cards to fraudulently purchase $400,000 worth of merchandise and more than $200,000 in cryptocurrency, officials said.

Kuo was also accused of having more victims in a 46-count indictment handed down by a Monmouth County jury in 2019.

Includes prior reporting from Erin Vogt, Sergio Bichao, and Dan Alexander.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

NJ school districts with the highest median teacher salaries

These were the highest median teacher salaries during the 2022-23 school year budget, according to data compiled by the New Jersey Department of Education. We begin with districts whose median salaries are at least $95,000 and work our way up to the highest median salary.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

The 30 best rated schools in New Jersey

Here are the top 30 schools statewide, based on their 2021-2022 New Jersey School Performance Reports — involving scores for language arts, math and attendance. (For an explanation of how the state calculates the "accountability indicator scores" and overall rating for each school, see page 90 of this reference guide.)

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

Biggest NJ company layoff notices in 2022 and 2023

In some cases, workers may be offered back their jobs or transfers to different locations. 

Here’s a look at more than a dozen of the biggest announcements within two years.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM