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Richard Alexander Turner, 64, was charged with 18 counts of rape, sexual battery, sexual assault of an unconscious person, and forcible oral copulation against female students he worked with, according to the Los Angeles Times .
Turner’s alleged victims were 15 to 17-year-old female athletes who were seeking recovery and rehabilitation from sports injuries, officials said. The girls claimed the offenses occurred both on and off-campus from 2017 to 2022. Some victims reported that Turner became violent, while others did not initially realize they had been assaulted, according to LA County District Attorney George Gascón.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) described Turner as a “contract vendor” who was employed on a “limited basis” as an athletic trainer at Van Nuys High School and Birmingham Community Charter School.
Turner was arrested on September 20, after an alleged victim contacted the LAPD saying she had been “inappropriately touched” by him. Police released Turner’s name to the public and asked additional victims to come forward. Since Turner’s arrest, at least 9 other students have contacted police accusing him of abuse as far back as 2017.
“A school is a place where our children should feel safe and protected by those who we are supposed to trust,” Gascón said. “It is crushing for the victims’ families and our education system when someone takes advantage of a youth.”
A student at Van Nuys High School reported Turner to police in 2017, but prosecutors declined to file charges due to a lack of sufficient evidence, according to LAPD Captain Jeff Bratcher. School officials were notified of the allegations despite no charges being filed.
Turner was arraigned in a Van Nuys courtroom on September 27. It was not immediately clear whether he had retained legal representation.
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