Suspected of trying to lure a minor
Bail was set Tuesday at $75,000 for a Porterville High School freshman football coach who was arrested Monday for soliciting a minor, reports the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
David Carrasco, 36, was arrested and booked on meeting a minor for the purpose of lewd and lascivious acts and is expected to be in court today.
Porterville Unified School District spokesperson Jason Pommier said along with being a freshman football coach, Carrasco was also a junior varsity girls basketball coach, and an English learner instructional aide at Porterville High School. He said Carrasco was also a former freshman softball coach at Granite Hills High School.
On Sunday, Tulare County deputies from the Porterville Substation were contacted regarding a juvenile male student being solicited to engage in inappropriate sexual behavior by an adult male.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Department Crimes Against Children Unit, Cyber Crimes Unit followed through with an investigation. The suspect was determined to be Carrasco, an employee and coach at Porterville High School. According to investigators, evidence was obtained to corroborate the victim’s statement.
On Monday, a sting operation was put into place and the suspect was taken in to custody when he arrived to meet the victim. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux credited the boy’s parents for noticing something was wrong and eventually notifying law enforcement.
“Within 24 hours we had [Carrasco] in custody,” Boudreaux said, adding the relationship between Carrasco and the victim goes back several weeks and authorities, including the Crimes Against Children’s Unit, are investigating if there are more victims.
After the arrest, school officials were notified. PUSD Superintendent Ken Gibbs said the district is working with the authorities, and has also provided additional psychologists on school campuses for students who are in need of counseling services during this time.
“Our biggest concern is the safety of our students,” Gibbs said. It is not known whether the victim is a Porterville Unified student.
Pommier said Carrasco started working for Granite Hills High School in 2013 and worked at Porterville High School for almost two years, but was still in his probationary period as a full-time employee. He said Carrasco has been suspended without pay and will not have access to the school campus.
This is the fourth PUSD employee in the last five years to be arrested and charged with sex crimes involving minors. In 2012, Strathmore High School wrestling coach Paul Corona III was arrested for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a teenager, however, he was never charged. In 2015, Granite Hills High School volunteer cross country coach James Raul Magana sent explicit photographs through social media to a 15-year-old male student.
The most recent case prior to Carrasco was of PHS instructor Bradley Collins, who was charged with five separate counts of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. Collins had worked for the district for more than 20 years.
Pommier said everyone hired at the district — regardless of their status — goes through a background check, including fingerprinting. He said administrators always talk to staff members about these kind of situations, and the district has mandated videos that all staff members must view on a yearly basis, including a video which covers proper relationships with students.
Carrasco was booked into the Adult Pretrial Facility.
Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said his department is also involved in the investigation and asked if anyone has been a victim or knows anything about the case, to contact the Sheriff’s Office or the Porterville Police Department. They can call the Sheriff’s Department Crimes Against Children Unit at 733-6218, or the Porterville Police Department at 782-7400. Anonymous information can be sent via text or email to TCSO@tipnow.com, by calling 725-4194 or through the Porterville Police app.