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2 Carter High School Assistant Principals Charged With Felony Child Abuse For Failing To Report Sexual Assault Of Students

RIALTO (CBSLA) — Two assistant principals at Carter High School in Rialto have been charged with felony child abuse for failing to report sexual assaults committed by a student against three other students, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

David Shenhan Yang, 38, and Natasha Harris, 37, were arrested Wednesday at Carter High School, just one day after Rialto police revealed the investigation into reports of sexual assault that had occurred on the campus.

Carter Assistant Principals
(Credit: Carter High School)

"In this case, the Assistant Principals' failure to report sexual assault on their campus erodes the trust that students and parents alike should have regarding the safety and protection of all the children in their care," District Attorney Jason Anderson said in a statement. "Their failure as mandated reporters to notify law enforcement lead to further victimization of two students, and the sexual assault of a third victim, which was preventable."

Investigators looking into allegations made this month of the ongoing sexual assault of a 15-year-old female student by a 17-year-old classmate found that she had first reported the sexual assault to Harris and Yang in November of last year, prosecutors said. The investigation identified two more victims, ages 15 and 16, who reported being sexually assaulted by the same male student – one who reported her assault to Harris and Yang in September of last year, and a third who had not previously reported her case to school officials.

Harris and Yang, as school administrators, are required by state law to immediately report allegations of child abuse or neglect to law enforcement, prosecutors said.

The Rialto Unified School District said in a statement that it will continue an internal investigation and will continue to assist local authorities with the case.

"The safety and well-being of students is our number one priority," said spokeswoman Syeda Jafri in a statement. "Accordingly, these allegations are taken with extreme seriousness. The District will continue its internal investigation until all the facts related to this matter are brought to light.  We will also continue to work with local authorities as they conduct their own investigation."

Both Harris and Yang have been charged with a felony count of child abuse and two misdemeanor counts of failure of a mandated reporter to report child abuse or neglect. Both are being held on $150,000 bail and are scheduled to make their first court appearance Thursday.

The boy who was under investigation was recently cited and released into the custody of his parents pending criminal charges being filed. Authorities have not released further details about the sexual assaults.

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