High School, Community College Employee in Riverside Arrested on Suspicion of Soliciting Underage Girl for Sex Acts: Police

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Thomas Borden, 61, is seen in a booking photo released Dec. 6, 2018, by the Riverside Police Department.
Thomas Borden, 61, is seen in a booking photo released Dec. 6, 2018, by the Riverside Police Department.

A 61-year-old Laguna Niguel man who works at a high school and community college in Riverside was arrested after allegedly trying to pay an underage girl for sex, police said Thursday.

Thomas Borden was identified as a suspect on Tuesday after vice detectives began investigating information they received about a man communicating with a female portraying herself as under the age of 18, the Riverside Police Department said in a news release.

Authorities tracked the communication, which they said showed an intent of giving the minor money in exchange for sex acts, to an adult man in Riverside. Upon contacting the suspect, they identified him as Borden.

The 61-year-old was subsequently arrested on suspicion of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony, arranging a meeting with a minor to commit lewd acts and soliciting a minor for prostitution services, police said.

Inmate records show he was taken into custody at the Galleria at Tyler mall around 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, then released Wednesday after being held on $150,000 bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center.

Investigators said they have notified the Riverside Community College District and the Riverside Unified School District of the arrest, as Borden was employed by both.

The Riverside City College website lists Borden as an adjunct faculty member in kinesiology.

While Borden’s name no longer appears on the staff directory at Raincross High School, police confirmed he worked on the campus and an archived version of the school’s site listed him as a resource specialist, or special education teacher.

“The District is extremely concerned by the allegations against Mr. Borden,” Riverside Unified spokesperson Justin Grayson said in a statement. “Mr. Borden has been placed on administrative leave, as is consistent with law.”

Grayson added that Borden would be place on mandatory unpaid leave if he is charged with a sex offense.

High school administrators have yet to field reports of on-campus misconduct involving Borden, according to Grayson.

“Nevertheless, District personnel will continue to work with law enforcement and legal counsel, will ensure that a full investigation is conducted, and will provide support to any member of the District community that may be affected,” he said.

The city college has also placed Borden on administrative leave pending investigation, said Peggy Cartwright, an associate vice chancellor.

The suspect was scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 7, 2019, in the Riverside Hall of Justice, inmate records show.

Detectives believe Borden could have additional victims and asked them to come forward.

Anyone with information on the case can contact Detective L. Blaszak at 951-353-7205 or lblaszak@riversideca.gov.

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