The former boys' basketball coach for a local high school is free on bond after he was charged with raping a teenage girl he coached.
Ryan Leron Towner, 35, was arrested June 10 following a rape investigation launched by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department on April 23, 2021.
The alleged crime occurred between August 2017 and July 2018 and the victim is a minor and former player.
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 was charged last week with one felony count each of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old with force and unlawful intercourse with a minor.
Towner, who remains out of custody after posting $55,000 bond, is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 12 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Towner coached the Shadow Hills boys' team from 2018 through most of the 2021 season. The Knights won the Division 3-A championship in 2020. 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 arrest happened just one day after the school confirmed that they would not be bringing him 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."
Towner has a prior felony conviction for credit card fraud.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.