Paul Gonzales pictured speaking at a Los Angeles 2024 event in 2015 ©Getty Images

Paul Gonzales, an Olympic boxing gold medal winner at Los Angeles 1984, has been charged with committing lewd acts upon a 13-year-old student.

The 53-year-old, who was also the first Latin American man to win a gold medal for the United States, is reportedly charged with eight felony counts including possession of child pornography.

According to the Orange County Register, Gonzalez committed the alleged offences while working as a youth boxing coach at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club, which is operated by the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department. 

He was arrested on December 29 after a report made by a family member of the female student, the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department have now confirmed.

Police reportedly believe there may be more victims who have not yet come forward.

"Based on the allegations in this case, and the fact suspect Gonzales has trained and mentored kids at the boxing gym for the past ten years, detectives believe there may have been other children in the past that were sexually assaulted by suspect Gonzales," read a statement by the Sheriff's Department, according to the International Business Times.

He is reportedly due in court in downtown Los Angeles on January 18.

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement to KABC-TV that they "take these allegations very seriously, both as administrators and as parents".

"There is zero tolerance for employee misconduct within our department," they added.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. 

"We place a very high value on the safety of the public, especially children, who participate in our programmes and who visit our park facilities. 

"The department will take appropriate and swift action to ensure the continued protection of all of our guests."

Paul Gonzales celebrates his boxing gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Paul Gonzales celebrates his boxing gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Gonzalez won a gold medal in the under-48 kilograms light flyweight division at his home Games.

He beat South Korea's world ranked number two Kwang Sun Kim in his opening contest and Jose Marcelino Bolivar of Venezuela in the semi-finals before receiving a walkover in the final when Italian opponent Salvatore Todisco could not appear due to a broken thumb.

He also won a silver medal at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Gonzalez was part of a gang and survived stabbings and shootings before taking up boxing at the age of 12. 

He had worked at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club for the last 10 years.

In 2015, he addressed members of the Los Angeles City Council's Ad Hoc Committee in an attempt to help persuade them to offer its support to bringing the 2024 Summer Olympics to the city.

Los Angeles was awarded the 2028 edition instead last year after Paris received 2024 rights.