MPD arrests man on multiple child molestation charges

Ronald Bragonier. PCSO photo

A man accused of sex crimes involving a minor was arrested Nov. 28 after the teen and multiple witnesses reported the alleged inappropriate contact.

Ronald Bragonier, 54, was arrested around 5 p.m. Tuesday after an investigation into allegations were reportedly substantiated by witnesses, who noted his odd behavior during the time of the alleged contact. That took place in multiple cities and multiple states between May and October, according to MPD reports.

Nov. 25, police were first notified by family of the 14-year-old victim, who had recently disclosed being molested by Bragonier in Orlando, Florida, Chandler and Maricopa.

A woman police describe as Bragonier’s “significant other,” who is a cheerleading coach at Rock Star Cheer, further substantiated the claim after she, too, reported to authorities the “inappropriate relationship” she believed he was having with the child, who attended the gym.

According to the police report, Bragonier was considered a close friend of the victim’s family, who had a “trusting relationship” with him. The victim spent the night with Bragonier and the coach’s family on multiple occasions.

During that time the significant other noticed Bragonier had been paying an odd amount of attention to the victim, “spoiling” the victim with “thousands” of dollars in gifts.

Nov. 18, the report stated Rock Star Cheer owner Elizabeth Mundell witnessed an argument at the facility between Bragonier and the victim, which, she said, “looked as if two people who were dating were having an argument.”

The report further stated Mundell witnessed Bragonier show up to multiple practices and ask to speak with the victim outside. Bragonier was not an employee of the gym.

“I’m cooperating in anyway possible that I can,” Mundell said in separate phone interview with InMaricopa. “We are covered by two restraining orders [against Bragonier].”

To the best of her knowledge none of the alleged incidents occurred at the gym, she said.

“We have such strong policies to support our business so that something like this doesn’t happen, with mandated reporting, with green-light clearances, with staff members never being left alone with anyone,” Mundell said.

The gym has a policy of conducting background checks on all gym employees, including employees who work the front desk and clean the facility, she said.

To be clear, she said, he was a parent who would help out from time to time.

Prior to the incident mentioned in the police report, Mundell said, she never witnessed or was made aware of any questionable conduct from Bragonier. And that incident, she added, was reported to the child’s father immediately.

During a forensic interview, the victim stated Bragonier’s escalating sexual contact caused the victim to try to keep him at a distance, which made him angry, resulting in the Nov. 18 fight witnessed by Mundell and others, the report says.

Bragonier’s significant other additionally reported he was acting unstable and irrational to the point where she feared for her and her family’s safety, the report says. She and her family were granted an Order of Protection against Bragonier Nov. 27.

During his Nov. 28 arrest, according to the report, Bragonier unlocked his cellphone to obtain contact information of a family member. At that time, “detectives observed the password entered to access the cellphone happened to be [the victim’s] birthday.”

Bragonier was arrested on a total of three charges including molestation of a child, dangerous crimes against children and sexual conduct with a minor.

Considering the nature of the alleged crimes, his reported irrational behavior and a request from Florida law enforcement that he have a high bond, Bragonier is being held on a $500,000 bond at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence.

If convicted, in Arizona alone, Bragonier could face life in prison.

This story has been updated from a previous version.

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