BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Feb. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Matt Clark, an experienced Bakersfield Sexual Misconduct Attorney at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, was recently quoted regarding the new allegations against Edwin Rodriguez who is employed at North High School in Bakersfield.  Edwin Rodriguez is a North High School athletic equipment manager.  He was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, according to authorities.  He is suspected of having sexual contact with current and former students. Any students or parents of students who are involved are encouraged to call the Chain | Cohn | Stiles Sex Abuse Victims Hotline (800-322-4529) to learn how their rights can be protected, and how they may be able to recover damages related to the abuse they suffered.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office reports that Edwin Rodriguez, a 40-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with minors 14 to 15 years old, exhibiting harmful matter to a minor, annoying a child under 18 and false imprisonment.  These are very serious charges and the victims have rights.  

Edwin Rodriguez is facing 11 felony counts and 13 misdemeanor counts. Ten people have come forward to investigators alleging inappropriate physical contact and other unwanted interaction.  There could be more victims. He was placed on administrative leave in September 2018.

Bakersfield Sex Abuse and Misconduct Lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles have a long-standing reputation of achieving outstanding awards for victims of sex abuse in Kern County and throughout California.  They have a team of attorneys and investigators who leave no stone unturned, according to Matt Clark.

“Unlike law firms from out of town, we have a local team in place who understands how to get a case handled in Bakersfield,” Clark said.

The Investigation

During the police investigation, it was determined that Rodriguez had allegedly sent explicit messages, including photos and videos, to eight juvenile students through the social media platform Snapchat and that he had sexual contact with several of the victims dating back to 2015. The victims are encouraged to call the hotline at 800-322-4529.

One of the alleged student victims at North High in Bakersfield estimated they had witnessed over 300 conversations with Rodriguez of a sexual nature involving students, both male and female, according to court documents.

The arrest of North High Athletic Equipment Manager Edwin Rodriguez comes after several other sexual misconduct cases in recent months. In December, former Liberty boys basketball coach Jeff Hicks was charged on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. Also, a Kern County jury awarded $10 million to a girl who was allegedly molested by Jonathan Avalos, who worked as a computer lab technician for the Lamont Elementary School District.

Matt Clark, an experienced sexual misconduct attorney at Chain | Cohn | Stiles in Bakersfield, has seen these types of cases all too often.

“I don’t think people realize the damage they do to these young adolescents when an adult gets into a relationship with them. It haunts them years and years later,” Clark said. "Victims don’t necessarily want to come forward. I think they’re in a tough position."

Social media and text messaging have played big roles both in allowing such relationships to start; they also help prove that misconduct has actually taken place.

“It gives the sexual predators the means to make contact and to groom their prey,” Clark said. “However, it’s also actual documentary evidence that a school employee sent inappropriate messages or material to a minor. Before we had that technology it was just verbalization, which was difficult to prove.”

Clark said that while some predators believe deleting their correspondence with students will protect them from being caught, that is not the case.

“If you put something in a text message, it’s saved forever, even if you delete them,” Clark said. “If you’re having inappropriate contact with a student and you don’t know that, that’s really playing with fire.”

To learn more about Chain | Cohn | Stiles or to speak with Matt Clark or another attorney about sexual misconduct related to North High or any other school in Kern County, please call the Sex Abuse  and Misconduct Victim Hotline at (800) 322-4529. 

1731 Chester Avenue – Bakersfield, Calif. – 93301 – Phone: (800) 322-4529

CHAIN | COHN | STILES is Kern County’s leading accident, injury and workers’ compensation law firm, recognized in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms” rankings and selected year after year for the “Best Law Firm” category in The Bakersfield Californian’s Readers’ Choice Poll year after year. Our attorneys have represented clients from throughout California for 85 years. We concentrate our efforts on protecting the rights of individuals who have been seriously injured due to the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another. If you have been injured due to the fault of another, you have the right to hold that person or entity accountable. At Chain | Cohn | Stiles, we pride ourselves on having the reputation and resources necessary to overcome the most difficult challenges while achieving the best possible results for our clients. For more information, go to chainlaw.com, and visit our blog to stay up to date on firm news: bloggingforjustice.com.

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