Authorities report that a Rancho Cucamonga football coach was recently arrested after police allege he placed a hidden camera inside a girls’ bathroom at Los Osos High School. After a staff member at the school discovered the camera, they immediately notified police, and an investigation found that assistant coach David Riden was responsible for placing the device in the restroom.
According to news reports, Riden resigned from his position at Los Osos in Rancho Cucamonga on August 24. A statement from the Chaffey Joint Union High School District read in part, “The Chaffey Joint Union High School District and Los Osos High School are deeply concerned about this disturbing incident and will not tolerate actions that infringe on the privacy of others…We have committed to do all we can to provide support and counseling for our students during this time.”
Riden worked for Los Osos High since 2015, both as the boys’ locker room attendant and the assistant coach for the varsity football team. The school district’s perimeter cameras helped identify Riden as their suspect.
During the investigation, authorities secured a search warrant for Riden’s home and car, and seized several electronic devices as evidence, which will undergo forensic examination. He is currently being held at the West Valley Detention Center under charges of invasion of privacy.
This is a breaking and ongoing investigation, and we still have no idea of the scope or number of victims who were affected by Riden’s criminal activity. Authorities ask that anyone with information contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department or call We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME.
California’s invasion of privacy law
California’s criminal code protects citizens – especially minors – against people who invade their right of expectation to privacy. These laws are commonly known as “Peeping Tom” laws, as set out in CA Penal Code 647. This law specifically prohibits:
A person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other person.
Further, the law doesn’t require a victim’s identity to be established; just that the victim (or victims) is capable of identification. Penalties for this crime increase when the victim is a minor.
Is invasion of privacy sexual abuse?
Yes, it can absolutely be considered harassment and abuse. Invasion of privacy by recording someone in a private situation, like a restroom or changing room, is a damaging form of sexual abuse, as it is done without the victim’s knowledge or consent. The Los Osos High School case is even more problematic, as the abuse was committed by a faculty member with students as his victims.
Students have a reasonable right to privacy and safety at school, and when this privacy is threatened and violated, the right people must be held accountable. The attorneys at Taylor & Ring understand the long-term consequences this type of abuse can have on your child, and know how to handle these types of cases with discretion and compassion. We have a successful track record of holding teachers and schools accountable when they fail to protect their students against these types of predators.
Some of our notable verdicts and settlements include:
- $25.3 million verdict. A 13-year-old boy was victimized almost daily by a supervisor at the Westerly School in Long Beach, California, and no one at the school ever reported it to law enforcement, despite suspicions by multiple parties.
- $14 million settlement. Two adult women sexually abused by their middle school teacher recovered the largest “per victim” settlement in the nation: $7 million each. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 v. Moraga School District
- $10.8 million verdict. A boy was sexually abused by his teacher off school premises. Despite an anonymous warning sent to the Bonita Unified School District about otherinappropriate behavior, the teacher was allowed to stay.
- $8.05 million verdict.A 14-year-old girl was manipulated into engaging in a sexual relationship with her eighth-grade teacher. The Pomona Unified School District was held liable for its negligent supervision of both the teacher and the student.
If your child was involved in the incident at Los Osos High School, or experienced any other sexual abuse at school, the attorneys at Taylor & Ring would like to hear your story. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 310-776-6390, or complete our contact form.
David Ring is a nationally renowned plaintiff’s personal injury trial attorney and has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of seriously-injured individuals or families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. For more than 20 years, he has represented victims of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, assault, molestation and sexual misconduct in cases against a variety of employers and entities, including schools, churches and youth organizations.
He prides himself on providing aggressive, yet compassionate representation for children who have been sexually abused and women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. Read more about David M. Ring.