Alhambra vice principal, accused of sex abuse, quits; inquiry begins
Authorities are investigating sexual abuse allegations against a former Alhambra vice principal made by a former student who secretly recorded what she presented as a telephone confrontation with the educator and posted the video on YouTube.
The case has generated wide attention because the video went viral, racking up more than 1 million views since last Friday.
Andrea Cardosa, 40, resigned from her post at Alhambra High School last Friday, a few hours after the video went live and someone forwarded it to school administrators.
Jamie Carillo, 28, says Cardosa began sexually abusing her when she was an eighth-grader at a Riverside middle school in the late 1990s. At the time, Cardosa was a teacher there.
Carillo said she posted the video on YouTube because she thought it was the only way to get justice.
On Tuesday, a second woman came forward with allegations against Cardosa, according to Riverside police.
“We believe the video is serious enough to investigate. We have detectives working on this,” Riverside police spokesman Val Graham said.
Cardosa did not respond to requests for comment.
In the nine-minute video, 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.” She is redirected twice. Then a woman answers and agrees that she is Cardosa.
“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 school officials would not comment on whether Cardosa’s resignation was connected to the video.
Laura Tellez-Gagliano, superintendent of the Alhambra Unified School District, said Cardosa had worked in Alhambra for less than four months and came with “stellar” recommendations.
Before arriving at Alhambra, Cardosa worked for three other school districts, teaching, serving as vice principal and coaching girls’ sports.
Each time she was hired, Cardosa passed all necessary background checks, according to officials at the Riverside Unified School District, Val Verde Unified School District and Coalinga-Huron Joint Unified School District.
Carillo’s attorney, David Ring, said Riverside police and school officials interviewed Carrillo and Cardosa in 1999 but no charges were filed. Riverside police declined to comment on whether there was an investigation, and school officials said they were not aware of prior accusations against Cardosa.
Because Carillo appears to have recorded the conversation without the other party’s knowledge, it’s unclear whether prosecutors can use the video as evidence. California law generally prohibits individuals from recording people without their knowledge.
And spreading such a recording on YouTube is risky, said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School.
“It’s fine to get the community involved, but if it spills over into vigilantism, then that becomes problematic,” Levenson said.
The California statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases requires victims to come forward before their 28th birthday or, in some cases, within 10 years of the alleged offense.
Certain exceptions to the law allow the prosecution of cases of substantial sexual abuse, but the claims must be backed by corroborating evidence such as electronic records or witnesses, said defense attorney Alison Triessl, who is not involved in the case.
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