A Temescal Canyon High School teacher has been put on administrative leave after his arrest for allegedly having an eight- month long sexual relationship with a person who at the time was a student at the school, officials said Sunday.
“Until further notice, Mr. Strange will be placed on paid administrative leave by the district pending investigation of all allegations and charges,” Whitney D’Amico, the school’s principal, said in a statement posted on the TCHS website.
Deputies arrested Russell Strange, 54, of Canyon Lake at noon Friday at the campus on suspicion of numerous crimes, including having unlawful sexual contact with a minor, said Sgt. Brett Seckinger of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators did not indicate how long ago the alleged relationship took place, though the victim is now an adult and no longer a student at the school, Seckinger said.
The allegations were reported to law enforcement on Oct. 25.
The school’s website lists Strange in its staff directory as a social sciences teacher, as well as an assistant coach for the girls varsity basketball team and head coach of the girls junior varsity basketball team.
D’Amico said the district was fully cooperating with investigators and that Strange’s students would be provided with continuity of instruction when they return on Tuesday, following the holiday weekend.
“Beginning Tuesday morning the district will augment TCHS staff with extra district counseling and mental health support; they will be available to students and staff members who have questions and feelings about what has happened, and who may need to talk in a confidential and safe setting,” D’Amico said.
Strange has been employed by the school since at least 2012, according to the website Transparent California. He was released from jail on Saturday after posting $25,000 bail, according to jail records.
Authorities urged anyone with additional information to call Lead Investigator Argandona at the Lake Elsinore sheriff’s station at (951) 245- 3300.