A former music teacher is scheduled to be sentenced Friday after admitting to molesting one of his underage female students at Indio’s Desert Ridge Academy, a crime for which he is facing up to 35 years in state prison.
Ruben Jesse Flores of Indio, 31, pleaded guilty to eight counts of lewd acts with a child, four counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object and two counts of oral copulation with a minor.
Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Flores was arrested on April 30, 2018, after police said the mother of the unnamed victim found “suggestive texts on her daughter’s cellphone and notified police,” according to Sgt. Daniel Marshall of the Indio Police Department.
Following Flores’ arrest, police obtained statements from both the suspect and the girl “regarding several incidents of unlawful sexual contact,” Marshall said then.
Flores was released a day after his arrest on $55,000 bail, and remains out of custody while awaiting sentencing. He is no longer employed by Desert Sands Unified School District.
Flores’ arrest came just over a month after a security guard at Desert Ridge Academy was arrested for sending inappropriate text messages to a student.
Bermuda Dunes resident James Arthur Campbell pleaded guilty in November 2018 to a felony count of sending harmful material to a child and two misdemeanor counts of child annoyance and sending annoying or harassing phone call.
The family of the victim in the Flores case filed a civil suit against Desert Sands Unified, arguing the district should have known about the former teacher’s relationship with their child. The current status of that lawsuit was not immediately known.