Former Riverside County School Counselor Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

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Local Riverside School Counselor Accused of Sexually Assaulting Student in 1990s

Local Riverside School Counselor Accused of Sexually Assaulting Student in 1990s

Jan 3, 2023

A former counselor at a Riverside County school was arrested after a victim came forward with allegations of being sexually assaulted by the man while a student at a local Banning, California, location. The arrest comes nearly two years after the child sex abuse survivor reported the alleged crimes.

In February 2021, a victim filed a report with law enforcement officials alleging that Ruben Rico Franco, 62, a former counselor at a Banning school, sexually assaulted the complainant from the ages of 10 to 14, according to a local KTLA story. The victim was a student at the time of the alleged incidents, the Banning Police Department confirmed.

At the time of the alleged initial sexual assault, Franco was a 37-year-old counselor at the victim’s school.

Police officials launched an investigation into Franco shortly after receiving the complaint.

“Detectives conducted a thorough investigation and developed probable cause to arrest Franco with an arrest warrant (Riverside Court Case # BAF2201138) issued by the Riverside County Superior Court,” the Police Department’s Facebook page said.

The Banning Police Department confirmed that the following charges have been filed against Ruben Franco:

  • 288.7(a) PC – Sexual intercourse w/ child under 10
  • 288.7(b) PC – Oral copulation or sexual intercourse w/ child under 10
  • 288(b)(1) PC – Lewd act w/ child under 14 w/ force (three counts)
  • 287(c)(2)(b) PC – Oral copulation w/ child less than 14 (three counts)
  • 289(a)(1)(b) PC – Sexual penetration w/ bodily injury child under 14 (three counts)

The suspect was arrested in San Diego in December 2022 and extradited back to Banning.

Franco is currently being held on $2 million bail. No additional information related to the sexual assault allegations have been released, according to KTLA.

Law enforcement officials believe there may be additional survivors impacted by former school counselor Ruben Rico Franco. Anyone who was victimized or has information on a sex crime committed by Franco is urged to call the Banning Police Department at 951-922-3170.

2023 Childhood Sexual Abuse Statistics

The National Centers for Victims of Crime (NCVC) offer the following statistics highlighting the prevalence of child sex abuse in the United States.

U.S. Child Sexual Abuse Statistics for 2023

  • According to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report, three out of four adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well.
  • A Bureau of Justice Statistics report shows 1.6 % (sixteen out of one thousand) of children between the ages of 12-17 were victims of rape/sexual assault.
  • A study conducted in 1986 found that 63% of women who had suffered sexual abuse by a family member also reported a rape or attempted rape after the age of 14. Recent studies in 2000, 2002, and 2005 have all concluded similar results.
  • Children who had an experience of rape or attempted rape in their adolescent years were 13.7 times more likely to experience rape or attempted rape in their first year of college.
  • A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can become suicidal.
  • Children who do not live with both parents as well as children living in homes marked by parental discord, divorce, or domestic violence, have a higher risk of being sexually abused.
  • In the vast majority of cases where there is credible evidence that a child has been penetrated, only between five and 15% of those children will have genital injuries consistent with sexual abuse.
  • Child sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact; such abuse could include noncontact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography.
  • Compared to those with no history of sexual abuse, young males who were sexually abused were five times more likely to cause teen pregnancy, three times more likely to have multiple sexual partners and two times more likely to have unprotected sex, according to the study published online and in the June print issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

As the NCVC notes, the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported.

However, experts agree that the incidence is far greater than the number of actual claims that are ever brought to the attention of authorities. Additionally, child sexual abuse is not uniformly defined, so statistics may vary, per the NCVC.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report from 2010 entitled “Child Maltreatment” found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted.

Various studies conducted by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, also indicate that:

  • One in five girls and one in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 13.

How Can I File a California School Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

Survivors of childhood sexual assault or abuse may file civil claims against perpetrators in pursuit of financial compensation. A civil lawsuit is separate from any criminal proceedings that may be brought against a sexual predator by the District Attorney’s Office. Filing a California school sexual abuse civil lawsuit can be a means of securing justice and helping a survivor recover critical financial compensation.

By contacting Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) school sex abuse attorneys, we will fight tirelessly to secure all applicable damages for past harm endured by a counselor, coach, teacher, or clergy member:

  • Hospital and medical care costs (past and future)
  • Counseling or therapy expenses (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma/psychological harm
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Lost wages due to the sexual abuse
  • Lost earning capacity due to the sexual abuse
  • Punitive damages

If you have questions about your school sexual abuse civil lawsuit, contact a member of DLG’s SAJE Team today for a free and confidential consultation. DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County whose more than 25 years of experience includes obtaining life sentences against some of our community’s most dangerous sexual predators.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Today, Dordulian and his dedicated team of California child sex abuse lawyers help survivors obtain justice and recover the maximum financial compensation they deserve through civil claims. Our Los Angeles sex crime attorneys have helped clients secure more than $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts with a 98% success rate.

To take the first step toward securing justice for your childhood sexual abuse or assault claim, contact a member of our team today at 818-322-4056.

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