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Teacher in YouTube sex assault case confessed to police, records show

A former teacher arrested and charged with multiple counts of sex abuse after one of her accusers went public in a YouTube video confessed to detectives that she molested the former student, court records show.

Riverside police Det. Roberta Hopewell, in seeking an arrest warrant for Andrea Michelle Cardosa, 40, stated that the former Alhambra assistant principal "admitted to having a sexual relationship" with the teenager when she taught in Riverside County.

The detective said Cardosa initially stated the girl was 15 or 16 but later acknowledged she may have been as young as 14, according to a copy of the arrest warrant obtained by The Times.

The detectives interviewed Cardosa after the victim posted a video on YouTube of a phone call she made to the teacher in which Cardosa "admits" to the sexual relationship, Hopewell said.

Cardosa told detectives the incidents occured in Riverside, Perris and continued when the victim moved to Victorville and Hesperia in San Bernardino County, Hopewell said.

Cardosa was charged Monday with 16 felony counts of aggravated sexual assault and lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 involving two victims, the Riverside County district attorney's office said.

Cardosa was arrested on a $5-million warrant Monday night in Perris, officials said, and was expected to be arraigned Wednesday. [Updated at 2:48 p.m. PST, Feb. 4: Officials previously said arraignment was scheduled for Thursday.]

Jamie Carillo, 28, who made the YouTube video, said Cardosa began sexually abusing her in the late 1990s, when she was an eighth-grader at a Riverside middle school.

An attorney for the other alleged victim, identified only as "Brianna," said his client was abused in 2009 and 2010, when she was a middle-school student in Perris.

Carillo secretly recorded her phone conversation with Cardosa and posted the recording Jan. 17 on YouTube. The video was viewed more than 1 million times in a week but has since been taken down.

In the nine-minute recording, Carillo is shown dialing a number using speaker-phone mode. A woman answers, telling her she has reached Alhambra High School. Carillo asks for "Andrea Cardosa" and is redirected twice. Then a woman answers and agrees that she is Cardosa, an assistant principal at the high school.

"You brainwashed me and you manipulated me .... What you did was wrong," Carillo says in the video.

"It wasn't anything I intended," the woman says quietly. "I don't even know what happened."

"You ruined my life. You ruined my childhood. Do you realize that?" Carillo responds, her voice raised. "You sicken me. You sicken me. And every day when I think about what you did, you sicken me."

"I regret it every day," the woman says. "Every day."

Alhambra Unified School District Supt. Laura Tellez-Gagliano said school staff received an email with a link to the video the day it was posted and immediately reported it to police. Cardosa resigned a few hours later.

Detectives in court documents said Carrillo met Cardosa at Chemawa Middle School in Perris, where Cardosa became her mentor and was 12 years old when Cardosa began the sexual abuse in the girls locker room.

The abuse continued until the girl was 18, according to court documents and occurred "too many times to count."

Within days of the investigation beginning, the second woman, who is now 18, came forward, court records show.

That girl met Cardosa at Tomas Rivera Middle School in Perris and was 14 when Cardosa took her for a ride to a secluded area in Mead Valley and sexually abused her in 2010, Hopewell stated.

Luis Carrillo, who is representing the woman and is no relation to the first victim, said Cardosa manipulated his client and her mother, telling them she wanted to be the girl's "mentor and friend."

Carrillo said Cardosa took his client, Brianna, on overnight trips and gave her gifts, such as movie tickets, food and candy bars.

Carrillo said Brianna, who has filed civil claims against the Riverside and Val Verde school districts over the alleged abuse, was "happy" that criminal charges had been filed.

"This begins the process of justice in the criminal case," he said.

Though there were initial questions over whether the recorded conversation could be used as evidence — California law generally prohibits individuals from recording people without their knowledge — Carillo's attorney, David Ring, said he believed it would be admissible in court.

"Jamie is very grateful Cardosa has been charged with some very serious crimes," Ring said. "She hopes justice prevails."

Before arriving at Alhambra, Cardosa worked for three other school districts, teaching, serving as vice principal and coaching girls' sports. Officials at those districts said she passed all necessary background checks each time she was hired.

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