Northeast Tarrant

Former Grapevine volleyball club coach who raped player gets 15 years

Damian Merrick, 49.
Damian Merrick, 49. Grapevine Police Department.

A former Grapevine volleyball club coach was sentenced to 15 years in prison this week after being convicted of sexually assaulting one of his players, according to Tarrant County court records.

Damian Merrick, 49, was found guilty last week of sexual assault of a child, stemming from an incident with a 16-year-old girl in 2015.

Merrick was also found guilty of delivery of marijuana to a minor and sentenced to seven years in prison. His sentences will run concurrently, said Sam Jordan, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

A jury found him not guilty on a second charge of sexual assault of a child.

Merrick, who was the owner of the Grapevine Volleyball Club, was arrested in May 2015, accused of having sex with the teen girl 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 2015, 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.