Jan 3, 2023
Two Rialto, California, assistant principals were arrested after three female high school students alleged they were sexually assaulted by the same male student on campus.
Local NBC 4 reported that the two assistant principals at Rialto’s Carter High School – 38-year-old David Yang and 37-year-old Natasha Harris – are accused of failing to notify police about the troubling sexual assault claims.
Both Yang and Harris were taken into custody Wednesday. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that each individual faces the following charges:
“As mandated reporters, both Harris and Yang are required by California state law to immediately alert law enforcement of child abuse or neglect,” prosecutors said, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
According to a Rialto Police Department press release, officials were notified on the evening of February 16 of a sexual battery that occurred at Carter High School. Rialto Police also indicated that the initial report involved a 15-year-old female student having been sexually assaulted by a 17-year-old male student several times over the past three months.
Detectives further investigated the allegations and discovered that there were two additional female students, ages 15 and 16, who were also sexually assaulted by the same suspect. Despite one of the alleged survivors first reporting an assault to school officials in September 2021, no notification was made to the Rialto Police Department until February 16, 2022.
“The student – I don’t know if he grew a little crush on her – he started stalking her,” Stephanie Olvera, the mother of one of the teen accusers, said, according to NBC 4.
Olvera told NBC 4 that a 17-year-old male student at Carter High sexually assaulted her then 15-year-old daughter last November. The girl, who just recently turned 16, reported the incident to an assistant principal at the time. However, school officials reportedly downplayed the allegation.
Bryan Tecun, the girl’s father, stated that after the teen lodged a sexual assault complaint, a school official told her:
“Maybe it was the way you were dressed or you might be seeking attention.”
“For that reason, she kept quiet because she was afraid she was going to get expelled from school,” Olvera said, according to NBC 4.
The parents further stated that they were unaware of their daughter’s sexual assault allegation until last week. That’s when the teenage student reportedly complained to school officials about the male suspect harassing her. According to Olvera, a school official called to discuss her daughter’s complaint, but told her she had “no need to worry.”
After the teen’s parents discussed the matter at home, she informed them that she had actually told school officials about the alleged sexual assault in November.
“They failed to notify us, they failed to notify police,” Tecun said to NBC 4.
“I’m the one that called police because they failed to do so,” Olvera added.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that parents and students protested in front of Carter High School Tuesday in response to school officials’ inaction following the reports of sexual assault. Protesters also expressed outrage over the assistant principals failing to report the incidents to law enforcement.
Yang and Harris were reportedly booked into the West Valley Detention Center. Bail has been set for $150,000.
“The safety and well-being of students is our number one priority. Accordingly, these allegations are taken with extreme seriousness. The District will continue its internal investigation until all the facts related to this matter are brought to light. We will also continue to work with local authorities as they conduct their own investigation,” Syeda Jafri, Spokesperson for Rialto Unified School District, said, according to NBC 4.
The Rialto Police Department has indicated that additional survivors may have been assaulted by the unidentified male student. Law enforcement officials are urging anyone with information related to sexual assaults at Carter High school to contact Lieutenant James Mills at 909-820-2632. Those who wish to remain anonymous may report information through WeTip by calling 800-782-7463.
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is proud to partner with the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence non-profit, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), in helping to spread awareness and ensure survivors of sexual assault obtain justice. As data provided by RAINN confirms, the vast majority of sexual assaults in the U.S. actually go unreported.
According to RAINN’s data, only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police (meaning more than two out of every three go unreported). Female student survivors are the least likely to report sexual assaults, at a rate of only 20%, while female non-student survivors tend to report at a rate of only 32%.
According to RAINN, of the sexual violence crimes not reported to police from 2005-2010, the survivor gave the following reasons not wishing to come forward:
Conversely, according to RAINN, of the sexual violence crimes reported to police from 2005-2010, the survivor reporting gave the following reasons for doing so:
Coming forward to report a sexual assault incident is understandably difficult for many survivors. No one wants to relive a traumatic experience like sexual violence, and after the Bill Cosby verdict was overturned, many survivors may be more hesitant to come forward despite progress being made in the #MeToo era.
However, as DLG’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, has seen through his extensive experience as a sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, coming forward to report a sexual predator and face that person in court can be very empowering for survivors.
“What I’ve found over the years, assisting hundreds of survivors, is that those who have gone through the legal process typically find it very empowering. They were once terrified of this scary predator, but eventually come to realize he’s actually not that intimidating when sitting quietly and meek in a courtroom with deputies standing over him, and is eventually carted away in handcuffs. For the first time, it’s the survivors who are now in control, not the perpetrator. And when a survivor takes back that control from the abuser, it can be incredibly healing. I’ve represented victims on countless occasions who are terrified before taking the stand. However, when they decide to take that step, to walk up, get on the stand and testify before that now meek and incarcerated perpetrator, inevitably they come to magically realize that this awful person who had hurt them so severely no longer has any power,” Dordulian says.
California school sexual assault civil lawsuits may be brought by survivors in an effort to recover financial compensation for various types of losses. Depending on the circumstances of sex crime, compensatory damages may be pursued and recovered through a civil claim.
Examples of some common damages that may be secured through a California school sexual assault or abuse civil claim include:
Adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse are able to file civil claims up to 10 years after an incident according to the California statute of limitations on sex crimes. Furthermore, the statute of limitations allows for a three-year window in civil claims where sexual assaults lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To read more about the California statute of limitations on sexual assault civil and criminal lawsuits, please visit our in-depth blog.
For instances of childhood sexual abuse, the statute of limitations is currently paused for all civil claims under legislation known as California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218).
California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) is a law passed in 2019 which took effect as of January 1, 2020. Under AB 218, any California survivor of childhood sexual abuse is able to file a civil claim against a perpetrator (whether an individual or institution) seeking financial compensation until December 31, 2022. AB 218’s three-year lookback window temporarily pauses the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse civil claims.
On January 1, 2023, however, the standard statute of limitations resumes, and survivors who have not filed claims – particularly those over age 40 or harmed several years ago – may be left without legal recourse.
For additional information on California AB 218, please visit our in-depth blog.
DLG is a leading Glendale, California, school sexual assault firm representing survivors across the United States. DLG offers survivors a unique type of legal representation and support which includes four-tiers of professionals known as the SAJE Team. With DLG, our SAJE Team is here to provide you with the best legal representation available while also offering 24/7 access to victim advocates, a licensed clinical therapist, and a former Los Angeles Police Department sex crimes detective.
DLG’s experienced school sexual assault lawyers have helped countless survivors secure maximum financial damages awards.
Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.
Some of our recent sexual assault civil lawsuit victories include:
For a free and confidential consultation regarding your school sexual assault civil claim, contact a member of DLG’s SAJE Team today at 818-322-4056. DLG’s school sex crime attorneys have helped victims recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record.
DLG was founded by former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian. Dordulian has helped sexual assault survivors obtain justice in both civil and criminal trials, with more than 25 years of experience and unparalleled results.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.