Desert Ridge Music Teacher Arrested for Alleged Student Molestation

Desert Ridge Music Teacher Arrested for Alleged Student Molestation

News Staff

A music teacher at Indio’s Desert Ridge Academy was arrested for alleged sexual contact with a student at the middle school, police announced Tuesday.

Ruben Jesse Flores, 29, of Indio, was taken into custody around 4:30p.m. Monday 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.

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 has been placed on administrative leave, and the district “is working with Indio police” in regard to the ongoing investigation.

“The safety and security of our students remains our top priority and we will continue to provide law enforcement with our assistance,” a district statement reads. “We join the Indio Police Department in requesting that anyone with information immediately contact law enforcement at (760) 391-4051.”

Flores’ arrest comes just over a month after a security guard at Desert Ridge Academy was arrested for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a student.

James Arthur Campbell, 45, was arrested in late March on suspicion of three misdemeanors — sending harmful matter to a minor, child annoyance, and making annoying or harassing phone calls. He was later released on $30,000 bail, county jail records show. Prosecutors had not filed charges against Campbell as of Tuesday.

Desert Sands Unified School District officials became aware of the alleged texts just prior to his arrest and Campbell was “immediately” placed on leave pending the results of an investigation, according to DSUSD spokeswoman Mary Perry.

District officials did not disclose the age or gender of the student involved in that incident.