After camera found in girls bathroom at Rancho Cucamonga school, ex-coach charged with child porn

A former assistant coach at a San Bernardino County high school has been charged with child pornography after school officials discovered a hidden camera in a girls restroom.

David Riden, 52, was arrested by San Bernardino County sheriff’s detectives on Aug. 25 after investigators determined he had placed the camera at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga. Detectives searched Riden’s Rancho Cucamonga home and vehicle and seized multiple digital media devices, authorities said.

The hidden camera, which was discovered by another school staff member, looked like a cellphone charger that had been plugged into a bathroom wall, attorneys said. But the gadget was actually recording images in the locker room and near the pool of female students, including members of the girls water polo team. Authorities say club teams and even community pool users could have been filmed.

Riden had worked at the school for six years as an assistant football coach and boys locker room attendant before the investigation. He resigned Aug. 24, the day before his arrest. In a court appearance last week , he pleaded not guilty to charges of felony possession of child pornography and two felony counts of using a minor for sex acts.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing several families who may have been recorded, said there could be “hundreds of young women on the video.”

“At this point, there are more questions than answers,” Allred said during a news conference Wednesday.

One parent who appeared alongside Allred, identified only as Stefani, said her 17-year-old daughter is nervous all the time and anxious since the discovery of the camera. She said her daughter, a senior at Los Osos High, and other female students fear the worst: that naked images of them are floating around cyberspace.

“It’s this waiting game — waiting for a phone call, a notification — and the terror that these videos are out there,” the woman said.

Sheriff’s detectives are continuing to examine the devices taken from Riden’s home, and San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Jason Anderson said additional charges are expected.

Allred said it’s possible the camera had been placed in other locations before it was found in the girls bathroom last month.

Since the discovery, Stefani said it’s been extremely difficult for her daughter and her friends. Some male students at the school have been taunting their female classmates, Allred said.

“One boy is reported to have stood up in class and openly chanted, ‘Free Riden,’ with no apparent consequences,” the attorney said. “Some members of the football team asked the victims why they were so upset, saying, ‘It’s just some free booty pictures.’ ”

The Chaffey Joint Union High School District, of which Los Osos High is a part, called the discovery of the camera and Riden’s arrest a “troubling situation” that “deeply disturbed all of us.”

District officials on Wednesday said they have implemented a variety of measures in the wake of the incident, including providing enhanced training for all campus officers, custodians, locker room attendants and other staff; rekeying and limiting access to all changing areas at the school; and investigating any reports of inappropriate comments or posts regarding the incident.

The school plans to have counselors and therapists on campus, and the district attorney’s Bureau of Victim Services also is providing mental health resources, including victim advocates.

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