Desert Ridge School Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Alleged Relationship With Student

Desert Ridge School Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Alleged Relationship With Student

News Staff

A music teacher at Indio’s Desert Ridge Academy, accused of a sexual relationship with a student, pleaded not guilty Monday to 14 felony counts related to sexual contact with a child.

Ruben Jesse Flores, 30, of Indio, is accused of engaging in sexual acts with one of his music students, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents. Flores is charged with 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.

Flores was arrested April 30, after police said the mother of the alleged victim found “suggestive texts on her daughter’s cell phone and notified police,” according to Sgt. Daniel Marshall of the Indio Police Department.

Police obtained statements from both the suspect and the girl “regarding several incidents of unlawful sexual contact,” Marshall said.

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.”

Following his Monday morning arraignment, Flores will return to court July 20 for a felony settlement conference. He is not jailed.

Flores’ arrest came 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, of Bermuda Dunes, was arrested in late March for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a student identified only as Jane Doe in court documents.

Campbell was later charged 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. He pleaded not guilty to all counts earlier this month.