Northeast Tarrant

Former Grapevine volleyball club coach found guilty in child rape case

Damian Merrick, 49, was found guilty Friday of sexual assault of a child.
Damian Merrick, 49, was found guilty Friday of sexual assault of a child. Courtesy of Grapevine Police Department

A Tarrant County jury on Friday found a former Grapevine volleyball coach guilty of sexual assault of a child, stemming from an incident with a 16-year-old girl in 2015.

Damian Merrick, 48, the owner of the Grapevine Volleyball Club, had faced two counts of sexual assault and was found not guilty of one of them, according to online records.

He was also found guilty of delivery of marijuana to a minor.

Merrick was arrested in May 2015, accused of having sex with the teen at a residence in Grapevine.

She told police that Merrick sexually assaulted her several other times, according to arrest warrant affidavits.

Merrick was accused of performing sex acts on her twice in March, once in a parking lot in the 2600 block of East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake and in a parking lot in the 800 block of West Royal Lane in Irving, the affidavits say.

In one instance, Merrick gave marijuana to the girl and other teens, and then forced the girl to have sex in a bathroom, according to the affidavits.

At trial, prosecutors said Merrick lured teens with alcohol and drugs during a team trip to Colorado, according to Fox 4 News.

Sexual assault of a child under 17 is a second-degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison.

The punishment phase of Merrick’s trial was underway Friday afternoon, according to Fox 4.