A 17-year-old student at Carter High School in Rialto accused of multiple sexual assaults on other students faces charges and the Rialto Criminal Police Department is accusing two school officials of being aware of the claims since September but not disclosing them, authorities said Tuesday , Feb. 22.
The Police Department was made aware on Feb. 16 that the 17-year-old boy had been sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl several times over the past three months on school grounds, police said in a news release. When detectives looked into the claims, they learned that two other girls, ages 15 and 16, were also sexually assaulted by the suspect, police said.
One of the victims reported the assaults to school officials in September 2021, but police were not informed until last week, according to the Police Department.
“The reason for the delay in reporting from school officials to the Police Department is also under investigation,” the Police Department said in the release.
The Rialto Unified School District is an internal investigation into the claims, said district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri.
“The safety and well-being of students is our number one priority. Accordingly, these claims are taken with extreme seriousness,” Jafri said in an emailed statement. “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.”
The suspect was contacted and cited by authorities before being released to his parents, police said. Sexual battery charges were pending against the suspect.
“In addition, criminal charges have been recommended to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for review regarding the failure of two school officials to report the incident in accordance with California state mandated reporting laws,” said the police statement, which did not identify the school officials..
The Rialto Police Department asked anyone who may have information related to the incidents to contact Lt. James Mills at 909-820-2632. Witnesses can also anonymously report information through WeTip at 800-782-7463.