He was entrusted with looking after students at North High School in Oildale,but Edwin Rodriguez, the school’s equipment manager, is facing accusations of sexual misconduct with students.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the 40-year-old is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with minors. Rodriguez was hired to work at the school in 2009 as a walk-on football coach, according to the Kern High School District. Rodriguez later became a substitute campus security employee before he was hired in 2011 as an athletic equipment manager.
Rodriguez faces 11 felony charges and 13 misdemeanors. The felonies include lewd acts with 14 and 15-year-old victims, and the exhibiting of harmful matter to a minor. The misdemeanors he with which he is charged include annoying or molesting a child in addition to false imprisonment.
Court documents reveal victims reported that Rodriguez sent “numerous sexually explicit pictures and videos,” and that he kissed a victim. The documents also state he touched one of the victim’s legs before moving his hands towards her genitals.
KGET went to Rodriguez’s house today for comment, but no one appeared to be home.
“It’s just not right,” said James Partain’s, whose two grandsons are students at North High. His granddaughter graduated two years ago. “They need to pay attention over there to the teachers, to the staff. [It[ seems like they can get away with anything they want to whenever they want to.”
Attorney Matt Clark has represented many victims in similar cases. He helps train coaches in the Kern high school district.
I come in and I speak about this very issue,” Clark, a partner with the Chain | Cohn|Stiles law firm said. “One of the rules that I give to the coaches during the training is do not text message a student one on one. There should never be a situation where you are text messaging a student one on one.”
Partain noted he felt concerned upon hearing the news. If the charges are corroborated, he said he hopes justice is done.
“If he’s done it, he sick. [He] ought to be in jail. In prison. Big time.”
In a statement, the Kern High School District said:
“The Kern High School District is shocked and disturbed to learn that a North High School employee is accused of inappropriate conduct with students. When North High administration became aware of these allegations, they immediately contacted the Kern County Sheriff’s Office; and have cooperated fully with law enforcement through the course of the investigation. The Kern High School District has learned that the employee, Edwin Rodriguez, has been arrested and is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor counts.
We care deeply about the safety and well-being of our students, and our sympathies go out to the victims and their families. These allegations are very troubling, and we understand that you may have questions and concerns. The district is unable to provide further details due to the obligation to protect the privacy and due process rights of our students.
We are currently providing counseling and additional support to the identified student victims and others negatively affected by this incident.
Edwin Rodriguez was hired in 2009 as a walk-on football coach. He served as a substitute campus security employee in 2010 and was hired as an athletic equipment manager at North High School in 2011. He was placed on administrative leave on September 27, 2018.
The Kern High School District is continuing to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging anyone with information on this case to contact them at (661) 861-3110 or the Secret Witness line at (661) 322-4040.”
Rodriguez’s wife, Josie, a cheer coach at the school, has also been placed on administrative leave. Her role in this case remains unclear.
Investigators believe there may be more victims out there. If you are a victim or may know one, you can call the Kern County Sheriff’s Department at (661) 861-3110 or secret witness at (661) 322-4040.
Rodriguez’s bail has been set at $175,000 and he is due in court on Thursday.