Police arrested a man who works as an athletic trainer at a high school in Riverside this week on suspicion of carrying on a sexual relationship with an underage former student, authorities said.
John Torrez, 26, of Loma Linda serves as a Career Technical Education Instructor for the Riverside County Office of Education since November of 2018, according to Riverside Police Department Officer Ryan Railsback.
He was assigned to John W. North High School in the Riverside Unified School District, RCOE officials said..
He was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of two felony counts of committing a sex act with a minor, according to Riverside County booking records.
A school resource officer at John W. North High School recently began an investigation “after a female student recently came forward to report the incident involving a former student of North High School, who has not attended the school during the current school year,” Railsback said in a written statement.
“The SRO learned this instructor had been engaged in an ongoing relationship with the minor student for several months,” he said.
Torrez promptly posted $100,000 bail and was released from custody the day of his arrest, records show. He was scheduled to make his initial appearance in Riverside County Superior Court on May 5.
RCOE officials said Torrez was immediately placed on leave once the allegations were brought to light.
“Both the Riverside County Office of Education and the Riverside Unified School District are fully cooperating with law enforcement and take all allegations of staff misconduct very seriously,” according to the statement.
In addition to his role at the high school, Torrez also works as a private athletic trainer for a company known as Clover Enterprises, police said.
Thursday’s arrest came a day after another Riverside school official was arrested for sex crimes involving children, including allegedly secretly recording young boys inside a restroom at the campus.
A former counselor at La Sierra Academy, a private school, was arrested by the Fontana Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Wednesday on suspicion of possessing more than 600 images of child pornography, including ones depicting “sadism,” according to police and San Bernardino County booking records.
While searching his home and seizing evidence, investigators learned that the suspect, 30-year-old Matthew Daniel Johnson of Loma Linda, worked as a school counselor.
Fontana police then teamed with Riverside police, Railsback said. “…investigators discovered he used a hidden device to secretly record young boys in a restroom at the school. A search warrant was served at the school where additional evidence was seized that corroborated these allegations against Mr. Johnson.”
School officials said in a written statement that Johnson was immediately fired, and that the school leadership was “shocked, horrified and saddened by what this investigation had already revealed.”
Anyone with information on either case was urged to contact the Riverside Police Department.