A former student at a Riverside, Calif., middle school has claimed sexual assault by her teacher, beginning when she was 12 years old, and posted the teacher’s confession on YouTube. On Friday, the former student called the former P.E. teacher over the telephone and elicited an admission of guilt. She then posted the video on YouTube, which has had over 800,000 views thus far.
The former student, Jamie Carrillo, is now 28 and the mother of two children. She has come forward because she does not want her children to suffer as she had. She had had no contact with this teacher, identified as Andrea Cardosa, since she attended Chemawa Middle School in Riverside. But Carrillo found the phone number of the school where Cardosa worked in Alhambra and called her up to tell Cardosa how she had ruined her childhood by manipulating her, telling her no one else loved her as much as the teacher did. After Carrillo posted the video of the phone call on YouTube, it went viral and a link to the video was sent to the Alhambra School District. The Alhambra Police Department was notified, and after a preliminary investigation to verify Carrillo’s claims, the case was sent to authorities in Riverside, where the sexual assault allegedly occurred.
By the time Carrillo had the courage to claim sexual assault as a former student, and posting the teacher’s confession of sexual abuse on YouTube, she discovered the statute of limitations had expired. This was the impetus behind making the YouTube video, and wanting to speak up to prevent further cases of sexual abuse by Cardosa, and to make sure Cardosa never works around children again.
Until recently, Cardosa was the vice principal of Alhambra High School. She resigned immediately after Alhambra High School received an email with the link to the YouTube video Friday, and after she was interviewed about the allegations. Laura Tellez-Gagliano, the superintendent for the Alhambra School District, said Cardosa had been hired four months earlier, having passed a background check, and came to the high school with excellent recommendations. Cardosa has not commented on the allegations.
During a news conference Monday at Alhambra High School, Carrillo spoke about the sexual assault by Cardosa and said she is planning to file legal action against the Riverside school district for not protecting her or filing charges against Cardosa. Rumors of the abuse had been going around at Chemawa in 1999, but an investigation yielded no evidence of wrongdoing and thus, no charges were filed against Cardosa.
The YouTube video shows Carrillo’s nervousness before she makes the phone call to Cardosa’s office at Alhambra High School. When she confronts Cardosa about the sexual assault she says she endured, Cardosa does not deny it, claiming she regrets what happened, but she does not offer an apology. When Carrillo asks her what she would do if someone came to her alleging sexual abuse by a teacher, Cardosa responds that she would involve the police. When Carrillo asks her why Cardosa abused her, Cardosa claims she was “helping” her.
Carrillo alleges that Cardosa would arrange out of town trips so that she could have sex with the then 12-year-old Carrillo. Cardosa allegedly put her hands down Carrillo’s pants and kissed her. Carrillo says she hopes her claim of sexual assault as a former student of Cardosa’s, and the teacher’s confession on YouTube, will encourage other sexual abuse survivors to come forward.
Update: A second victim of Cardosa’s has now come forward, claiming what happened to Carrillo was very similar to what happened to her. The second victim says she was also 12 at the time, and Cardosa was her basketball coach. The female victim, who wants to remain anonymous, says she realizes what happened all those years ago was abuse, and knows now that Cardosa sexually assaulted her. She has not revealed specific details as she wants to consult with a lawyer first.
By Juana Poareo