Both assistant principals at Carter High School were arrested last week, accused of covering up a series of sexual assaults.
The civil claim alleges violations of two government statutes: One deals with child endangerment, the other accuses the school and its administrators of failing to report the incident to parents and to police.
According to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, 38-year-old David Shenhan Yang and 37-year-old Natasha Harris have each been charged with felony child abuse and two counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect.
The district attorney's office said the two were informed of sexual assaults that allegedly happened on campus, but didn't alert law enforcement. They were arrested at the school on Wednesday.
The Rialto Police Department said officers were investigating a claim in mid-February in which a 17-year-old had been reportedly sexually assaulting a girl for months. Officers later learned the victim had initially reported the sexual assault to both Harris and Yang three months prior to RPD's investigation back in November 2021.
The parents of the victim spoke with ABC7 on Wednesday and said they believe school officials allowed this to happen. They said their daughter was 15 at the time of the alleged assaults. Since the allegations came to light last week, the parents said their daughter has become the target of harassment by other students.
"My daughter is being kept out of school right now and these people are still here while my daughter is losing on her education, and they are trying to make it seem as if she is a liar," said the victim's mother Stephanie Olvera. "I'm the one that called police because they failed to do so."
Another victim reported a separate sexual assault involving the same male student in September 2021, which authorities say Harris and Yang failed to report to law enforcement. Authorities said a third victim came forward this month who had not previously reported a sexual assault to school officials.
Police cited the 17-year-old suspect and he has since been released to his parents. He's facing several counts of sexual battery.
As mandated reporters, both Harris and Yang are required by California 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," said District Attorney Jason Anderson. "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."
The Rialto Unified School District issued the following statement regarding the investigation.
"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."