Indio School Guard Charged for Alleged Inappropriate Texts With Student

Indio School Guard Charged for Alleged Inappropriate Texts With Student

Martín Di Felice

An Indio middle school security guard who allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to a student made his initial court appearance Wednesday on charges of sending harmful material to a child.

James Arthur Campbell, a guard at Desert Ridge Academy, was arrested in March for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to the student, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents. Her age was not disclosed.

Campbell, 45, of Bermuda Dunes, was released one day after his arrest on $30,000 bail and charged by prosecutors last Friday with a felony count of sending harmful material to a child, as well as two misdemeanor counts of child annoyance and sending annoying or harassing phone calls.

Desert Sands Unified School District officials “immediately” placed Campbell on leave after discovering the texts, according to DSUSD spokeswoman Mary Perry, who said the district was cooperating with the Indio Police Department and Riverside County District Attorney’s Office in the investigation.

Campbell appeared before a judge at the Larson Justice Center on Wednesday morning, but his arraignment was postponed to June 13.

The charges were filed two weeks after a music teacher at the school was arrested for alleged sexual contact with one of his female students.

Ruben Jesse Flores, 30, of Indio, was taken into custody around 4:30 p.m. April 30 at his home, according to Sgt. Daniel Marshall of the Indio Police Department. He was released on $55,000 bail and is expected to make a court appearance in June, jail records show, but charges had not been filed against him as of this afternoon.

Marshall said the mother of the alleged victim, who is one of Flores’ music students, found “suggestive texts on her daughter’s cell phone and notified police,” who subsequently obtained statements from both the suspect and the girl “regarding several incidents of unlawful sexual contact.”

Flores was booked on suspicion of multiple counts of lewd acts with a child and sexual penetration with a person under 14.

Desert Sands Unified School District officials said Flores was placed on administrative leave, and the district “is working with Indio police” in regard to the ongoing investigation.