A former Alhambra school administrator pleaded not guilty Friday to sexual abuse charges that were filed after a former student went public with her accusations and uploaded a recorded phone confrontation with the woman to YouTube.
Andrea Michelle Cardosa, former vice principal at Alhambra High School, resigned in January after the video posted by former student Jamie Carillo went viral. Soon after, another woman came forth with her own sexual abuse allegations involving Cardosa.
Cardosa, 40, has been charged with 16 counts, including aggravated sexual assault and lewd acts on a child under the age of 14.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez denied motions to dismiss the case and reduce Cardosa's $5-million bail at the Friday hearing, according to John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney's office.
Carillo, 28, said Cardosa coerced her into a sexual relationship in the 1990s when she was an eighth-grader at Riverside Middle School, where Cardosa was a teacher. In January, Carillo confronted a woman identifying herself as Cardosa in a phone call that she recorded on video. In the video, the woman admits to the relationship, apologizes to Carillo and expresses regret.
California law generally prohibits individuals from recording people without their permission, and there were initial questions over whether the recording could be used as evidence. But Carillo's attorney, David Ring, said he believes the court will allow it.
Before she was hired at Alhambra High School, Cardosa worked for three other school districts, teaching, serving as vice principal and coaching girls' sports. Each time she passed all necessary background checks, according to officials at the Riverside Unified, Val Verde Unified and Coalinga-Huron Joint Unified school districts.
A felony settlement conference has been scheduled for May 23.
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