A soccer coach with the Coachella Valley Unified School District was arrested on Thursday after being accused of inappropriately touching several students, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department announced.
Juan Manuel Pantoja Troncoso, 24, of Salton City was arrested at his place of employment along Indio Boulevard.
Troncoso was a CVUSD contract employee, coach of the soccer coach for the ASES Program.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, deputies were first notified of the allegations against Troncoso on Feb. 21.
CVUSD Superintendent Dr. Maria Gandera sent this statement to News Channel 3 in response to questions to what happened when the district was notified of the allegations:
From there, Thermal Sheriff's investigators took over the case. According to investigators, Troncoso inappropriately touched multiple students at a local campus while conducting his duties as a soccer coach.
The school(s) involved were not publicly released.
Troncoso was booked at the county jail in Indio for multiple charges of lewd acts with a minor.
"When the School District became aware of these allegations, we immediately contacted law enforcement. The District has been cooperating with their investigation and working with them ever since. The contractor was immediately released from his contract."- Dr. Maria Gandera
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Investigator Butvidas by calling 760-863-8942.
We have reached out to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department for a booking photo. A booking photo may not be in the system yet.
Troncoso is the third CVUSD employee to be accused of having inappropriate relationships with students in recent months.
Jose Luis Moncada, a school bus driver for the district, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to eight counts of committing lewd acts with a child under 14 years old stemming from allegations that he inappropriately touched several students while on the job in 2010, according to the Sheriff's Department.
The felony complaint filed by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office lists three students, all girls, as victims.
Because the crimes allegedly involved multiple victims, the 63-year-
old Desert Hot Springs resident could face a life sentence if convicted,
district attorney's spokesman John Hall said previously.
Moncada remains in custody on $1 million bail and is scheduled to return to court on March 27 for a felony settlement conference, when bail will
also be reassessed.
The investigation into Moncada began last October when a former student contacted the school district to report alleged incidents that occurred a decade ago.
Moncada was a school district employee as recently as October when the
student made the initial complaint, the district superintendent confirmed
at the time of his arrest, but his current employment status was unclear.
The district released a statement following Moncada's arrest, confirming that a former student made the complaint last fall, but the did not identify the bus driver allegedly responsible.
The district was unaware of any allegations before October 2019," according to the statement."Upon receiving the report, the district immediately contacted Child Protective Services and law enforcement.''
Another CVUSD employee, 25-year-old Coachella resident Edward Noel Alvarado Valadez, was arrested last December on suspicion of engaging in an
"inappropriate relationship" with a student.
Sheriff's officials alleged that Valadez pursued a female student at Coachella Valley High School "through various social media apps.''
Valadez made bail following his arrest, and has not been charged to date by prosecutors.