BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Numerous letters written on his behalf indicate former girls basketball coach Keith Cash conducted himself in an exemplary manner in public, a Superior Court judge said.

But actions Cash performed in private show he was “clearly a predator,” Judge David Oglesby said before sentencing Cash to two years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration for pursuing and carrying on a sexual relationship in 2011 with a 14-year-old girl he coached.

Keith Cash looks toward the gallery during his sentencing hearing.

Cash, 33, apologized to his family and the victim during Wednesday’s hearing. He said he takes full accountability, and his behavior of more than a decade ago “doesn’t define my character and who I am as a person and what I have to offer this world.”

Cash was placed in handcuffs and taken away to immediately begin serving his sentence.

Judge John Oglesby sentenced Keith Cash to two years in prison.

Last month, a jury found Cash guilty of of committing a sex act with a minor and charges related to contacting a minor to commit a sex offense. He had been free on bail since his arrest in 2018.

Cash was employed by the Kern High School District as a coach for Ridgeview High School and Stockdale High School from 2011 to 2017.

The victim came forward in 2018 and told police she and Cash had sexual encounters at multiple locations on a high school campus when she was underage. Cash first texted the girl when she was 13 and engaged in sexual grooming behavior, prosecutors said.

During a pretext phone call recorded by police, Cash told the victim he risked his career and reputation because he loves her, according to court documents.