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Phoenix Suns superfan Mr. ORNG arrested on child sex crime charges

A Peoria High School boys basketball coach and popular Phoenix Suns superfan was arrested by Peoria police Tuesday night on charges related to child sex crimes.

Police charged Patrick Battillo, a state title-winning coach also known as Mr. ORNG, with several crimes, including luring a minor for sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking. Peoria High School teacher Holly Holgate, 46, was also arrested and charged with hindering prosecution and failing to report child abuse or neglect.

Peoria police were tipped off to the crimes around 10 a.m. Tuesday when Peoria High School administrators alerted the school’s resource officer that Battillo, 37, had received images and videos of students via Snapchat in “various sex acts and in various states of nudity,” according to police.

Battillo pretended he would send these videos and pictures to another person who would then send him the money. Battillo would give that money to the students, according to AZ Family. Once a student caught on that Battillo was actually the “other person” soliciting the content and keeping it for himself, the student reported what was happening to Holgate.

Holgate then alerted Battillo, who volunteers in her class, to the allegations against him, and he fled the school before police could question him. Holgate was taken into custody at the school and Battillo was arrested in Goodyear. The two were both processed at the Peoria Police Department then transported and booked into Maricopa County Jail.

Batillo is being held on $100,000 bond and Holgate is being held on $25,000 bond.

Peoria Unified School District released the following statement regarding the arrests:

“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.”

Batillo could famously be found adorned in orange regalia as his alter ego “Mr. ORNG” over the last decade-plus at Suns games, encouraging fans to get on their feet to cheer on the team. He joined Peoria High School’s coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2016, then was given the interim head coach job in the 2019-20 season before leading the Panthers to a second place finish in the state championship, ultimately leading to a permanent head coaching spot.

In 2023, he coached the team to a state championship. As recently as April 4, Battillo spoke to kids at Legacy Traditional School for “ORNG day.” According to Batillo’s LinkedIn page, he has volunteered at MOMA’s House since 2007, an organization that aims to help women recovering from sex trafficking and domestic violence.

In its statement, the Peoria Unified School District said 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.

From the statement:

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.

The safety and well-being of our students is paramount. Should a student need someone to talk to about what they are feeling, we will have our social worker and members of our counseling team available. The Peoria Police Department is encouraging those with information in this case to reach out to them through the Tip Phone Line: 623-773-7045 or via e-mail: [email protected].