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Crime

Former Shadow Hills High School basketball coach Ryan Towner arrested, accused of raping a minor

Former Shadow Hills High School basketball coach Ryan Towner was arrested Thursday morning following accusations that he raped a juvenile former player.

Ryan Towner

County jail records show that Towner was arrested in the area of Jefferson Boulevard and Fred Waring Drive in Indio on Thursday at 9 a.m. by the Rancho Mirage Police Department.

The Sheriff's Department confirmed the investigation into the rape dates back to April 23, 2021, but the incidents occurred in the past. The victim is a minor and former player, but it was not specified if Towner was their coach at the time.

In the interest of protecting the victim, we are only going to report that the victim is a minor and a former player. We are not releasing more specific details to help protect the victim in this case.

Towner, 35, faces charges of rape and oral copulation. He has not been charged by the District Attorney's office at this time. He is being held at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on $55,000 bail.

Jail records show that Towner will make his initial court appearance on Monday.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Riverside County Sheriff’s Department - Palm Desert Investigations Bureau, at 760-836-1600, or Investigator Reinbolz at 760-836-1634.

If anyone with information would like to remain anonymous, please call the Coachella Valley Crimes Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP.

The arrest comes just a day after the school confirmed that they would not be bringing Towner back as the boys head basketball coach. The Desert Sands Unified School District told News Channel 3's Sports Director Blake Arthur that the school's principal and athletic director were "looking to take the program in a different direction."

Ryan Towner (Courtesy of Shadow Hills Athletics)

Towner missed the final 10 games of Shadow Hills' season. His absence came after the team had a positive COVID test within the program. Shadow Hills was forced to forfeit three league games in the process.

Towner's bio on the school's website shows that he graduated from Cathedral City High School in 2004. He was hired as Shadow Hills' coach in May 2018. Prior to taking over at SHHS, he was an assistant coach at Palm Springs High School.

We reached out to the Desert Sands Unified School District for more information on Towner's arrest. Mary Perry, district spokesperson, said they are not able to comment on a personnel matter.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

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Jesus Reyes

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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