Villa Park High School student accused of 2 sexual assaults

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
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An 18-year-old Villa Park High School student is accused of sexually assaulting two younger female students.

VILLA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- Jared Linares is facing serious allegations. The 18-year-old was arrested at his high school in Villa Park, accused of sexually assaulting two younger female students.

"The school resource officer was able to gather that information and then pass it on to our sex crimes investigators," said Lt. Mark Stichter, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

Authorities are not saying exactly what happened, only that the alleged assaults -- defined as sexual battery -- happened within the past year on campus.

"It's any inappropriate or intimate touching of another person while unlawfully being restrained," explained Stichter.

While Linares lists himself on his Facebook page as a Navy SEAL and wrote that he studies partying 101 at Villa Park High, some in his class say what he's accused of is completely out of character, calling him a kind person who often help others.

"He was pretty nice to me because he was the first person I ever talked to when I transferred to this school," recalled Villa Park High student Ryan Kao. "I did not expect this to happen, just shock."

Some students say Linares was very involved with activities in and outside of school.

"He used to do boxing," said student Ryan Deck. "He helped out at the school. He played football at one point. He was on the band, he's a really nice kid."

"It just doesn't add up," said student Lance Vecchio. "I feel like it was all a misunderstanding, and maybe it was because he wasn't liked at the moment, and it went over and beyond. "

Linares is out of custody after posting $25,000 bail. Authorities say they are concerned there may be additional victims.

"We want to make sure we provide an opportunity for anybody who may be victim to come forward and speak to us," said Stichter.

So far we have not heard back from Linares for comment.

The Orange Unified School District issued a statement on behalf of Superintendent Michael Christensen: "The District is cooperating with the O.C. Sheriff's Department in their investigation of the allegations. Any questions concerning the investigation should be addressed to the Special Victims Unit Sergeant Mike Tanabe at 714-647-7418 or 714-647-7000."

People can also call O.C. Crime Stoppers to provide anonymous tips at (855) TIP-OCCS.