Charges were filed Wednesday against two assistant principals at Carter High School in Rialto over their alleged failure to report sexual assaults that took place on campus, of which they were made aware by the victims.
David Shenhan Yang, 38, and Natasha Harris, 37, are facing one felony count each of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, and two misdemeanor counts each of failure of a mandated reporter to report child abuse or neglect, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
On Feb. 16, police were notified of a sexual battery that occurred at the high school, the Rialto Police Department said in a news release. The initial report to police was that a 15-year-old female student had been sexually assaulted by a 17-year-old male student several times over the past three months.
Following an investigation, police discovered that the victim had first reported the sexual assault to Harris and Yang in November 2021.
They also learned there were two additional female students, ages 15 and 16, who said they were sexually assaulted by the same suspect.
One of the victims was identified to have reported the sexual assault by the same student in September 2021, which Harris and Yang also did not report to law enforcement, the DA’s office said.
The third victim came forward in February, but had not previously reported the sexual assault to school officials.
Both Harris and Yang are required by California State Law to immediately alert law enforcement of child abuse or neglect.
“In this case, the Assistant Principals’ failure to report sexual assault on their campus erodes the trust that students and parents alike should have regarding the safety and protection of all the children in their care,” D.A. Jason Anderson said in a written statement. “Their failure as mandated reporters to notify law enforcement lead to further victimization of two students, and the sexual assault of a third victim, which was preventable.”
Just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, detectives contacted both Yang and Harris at the high school and took them into custody. They were booked into the West Valley Detention Center with a bail set at $150,000.
“The safety and well-being of students is our number one priority,” Rialto Unified School District spokesperson Syeda Jafri said in an email to KTLA. “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. While the District cannot comment on confidential personnel matters, the District will continue its internal investigation.”
The juvenile suspect was contacted by detectives, who issued him a citation and released him into the custody of his parents, pending criminal charges being filed, police had said Tuesday.
The Rialto Police Department requests that anyone who may have information related to the incident contact Lt. James Mills at 909-820-2632. Witnesses can also anonymously report information through the WeTip hotline at 800-782-7463.