SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former Southern California high school football coach who secretly photographed nearly two dozen students in a girls locker room was sentenced Friday to nine years and four months in prison.
David Arthur Riden, a former assistant varsity football coach at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, also will be registered for life as a sex offender.
Riden, 53, was arrested last year after a camera disguised as a phone charger was discovered in a female restroom by another employee. Prosecutors said they believed Riden used the camera to secretly photograph 21 girls while they were in a locker room.
Riden pleaded guilty in October to charges of secretly photographing a minor, possessing more than 600 child pornography images and using a minor to produce such material.
Other counts were dropped in exchange for his plea. At the time, the San Bernardino County Distict Attorney’s Office announced it was satisfied with the outcome, which “ensures Riden is held accountable for his crimes and the victims will not have to endure a potentially lengthy trial and any further emotional trauma.”
There may be many more victims, according to lawsuits and damage claims filed against the Chaffey Joint Union High School District, which hired Riden in 2015.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing nearly 50 alleged victims in a damage claim, said Friday that some parents felt the sentence was disappointingly short.
“Many parents and their daughters have been on an emotional roller coaster," she said at a news conference.
Jordyn Stotts, a school alumna and one of Allred's clients who publicly identified herself as a victim, said Riden's actions “ruined me" and that she had lost trust in people and suffers from anxiety and depression.
“Once I was a girl who could take on anything,” Stotts said. “Now I am a girl who is scared and who doesn’t know what to do.”
Chaffey Superintendent Matthew Holton said in a statement that officials at the second largest high school district in California “remain deeply concerned” about the case.
“Our support for our students is unwavering and we will not tolerate any actions that infringe on their privacy,” Holton said.
Sophie Austin is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Austin on Twitter: @sophieadanna