US educator denies sex crimes in YouTube case
RIVERSIDE, California (AP) — A judge on Friday refused to dismiss sexual assault charges against a U.S. educator who was confronted with the allegations of abuse in a phone call by a former student who then posted the conversation on YouTube.
Andrea Cardosa, a 40-year-old former assistant principal, was charged in February with 16 felony counts, including five counts of aggravated assault on a child.
Prosecutors said Cardosa abused the former student, who is now 28, from 1997 to 2001, starting when the child was 12 and attending Chemawa Middle School in Riverside, California.
Another former student came forward after seeing the video and Cardosa was also charged with abusing her.
In the video posted online on Jan. 17, the former student telephones Alhambra High School, where Cardosa was working, and receptionists connect her to a woman who identifies herself as Cardosa.
“You should be so ashamed and so disgusted with yourself,” the caller says.
“I am. I am,” the woman says. “I regret it every day. Every day.”
The former student does not detail the alleged abuse in the video.
In court papers filed for Friday’s hearing, prosecutors said Cardosa molested the girl over 100 times, and acts were committed in a locker room and Cardosa’s car, and at the home of Cardosa’s sister, where the two were almost discovered.
Cardosa pleaded not guilty at the hearing, where defense attorney Randy Collins argued that the case should be dismissed because police investigated in 1998 when the mother of the girl’s friend became concerned about Cardosa’s relationship with the student.
That means the statute of limitations for charging Cardosa has expired, he argued.
Prosecutors countered in court papers that the girl told police nothing was wrong because Cardosa urged her to lie and therefore the window to file the case remained.
Riverside Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez allowed the case to proceed Friday and also rejected a defense motion to reduce Cardosa’s $5 million bail.
The next court hearing was set for May 23.