Breaking News Blog

Wednesday, Sep 26 2012 06:19 PM

Police won't seek charges in alleged sexual assault from 1976

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Bakersfield Police will not send a complaint to the District Attorney's office requesting charges against a Garces Memorial High School teacher who was accused of sexually assaulting a student in 1976, Detective Uriel Pacheco said Wednesday.

A woman accused a male teacher of sexually assaulting her off-campus when she was a 16-year-old student at Garces in 1976, Bakersfield Police announced Tuesday.

The teacher was put on paid administrative leave, said Richard Sexton, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Fresno, on Tuesday. The diocese is also conducting an internal investigation into the allegations, Sexton said Tuesday.

A day after announcing the investigation, police have determined that the statute of limitations to prosecute the teacher for sexual assault has passed, Pacheco said. The case does not meet any of the exceptions that would exempt it from the statute of limitations. As such, police will not ask the District Attorney's office to file charges, Pacheco said.

But the police investigation remains open as police wait to see if more alleged victims or witnesses come forward with knowledge of another instance of sexual assault that would not be past the statute of limitations, Pacheco said.

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