School athletic trainer charged with sex assault of 10 girls

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An athletic trainer who worked at two Los Angeles high schools was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting 10 students.

Richard Turner, 64, is accused of 18 felony counts, including rape, other sexual assaults by force and the sexual penetration of an unconscious person, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

Turner remains jailed pending an October arrangement. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Prosecutors allege that Turner sexually assaulted 10 girls between 15 and 17 years old while working at Van Nuys High School and Birmingham Community Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley.

Prosecutors allege that the girls — all student athletes seeking treatment for sports injuries — were assaulted between 2017 and this year. Some alleged attacks occurred on campus and others away from the schools.

Turner was arrested Wednesday, a day after a Birmingham student accused him of touching her inappropriately, Los Angeles police Capt. Jeff Bratcher told the Los Angeles Times.

Bratcher said nine other students came forward after police released Turner’s name publicly and urged other victims to contact police.

“A school is a place where our children should feel safe and protected by those who we are supposed to trust,” District Attorney George Gascón said at a news conference. “It is crushing for the victims’ families and our education system when someone takes advantage of a youth.”

Bratcher said a student at Van Nuys High reported Turner to police in 2017 but the DA’s office declined to file charges for lack of evidence, Bratcher said.

The Los Angeles Unified School District told the Times that Turner was a contractor who worked on a limited basis in the district.

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