BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – A North High School staffer faces two dozen charges for alleged sexual misconduct with students.
Edwin Rodriguez, 40, was arrested Tuesday, the Kern County Sheriff's Office said.
He was working as a sports equipment manager at the school but has been placed on leave, the Kern High School District said.
The district said in a statement Wednesday that it's "shocked and disturbed" by the allegations. The district's full statement can be seen below.
The Sheriff’s Office said the investigation started with one student’s report in September. Investigators have since determined that Rodriguez was sending sexually explicit messages to eight students via Snapchat.
"We don't like to see this type of conduct happening. No one does. But what we do like to see is this type of conduct being detected, being reported, and it being successfully prosecuted," Joseph Kinzel, Deputy District Attorney, said.
Rodriguez is also accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with several of the students.
The Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that it appears the alleged behavior dates back to 2015.
According to Centennial High School's girls basketball coach, Amy Hall, KHSD coaches must complete a certification class that includes a section on social media communication with student athletes, and makes it very clear that befriending students on social media is not appropriate.
Apps like Max Preps Teams and Remind are recommended resources for school staff to communicate with students and parents in an appropriate way, rather than use social media to communicate with students.
Eleven of the 24 charges are felony counts.
Bail has been set at $175,000.
KERN HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT STATEMENT: