An athletic trainer who worked at two San Fernando Valley high schools will be charged with sex-related counts involving 10 teenage girls, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday.
Richard Alexander Turner, 64, is facing more than 15 felony counts, including forcible rape, sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual penetration by use of force, the county’s top prosecutor said at an afternoon news conference. Turner is set to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in a Van Nuys courthouse.
“The unconsciousness in this particular case really refers to the fact that they may not have immediately been aware that they were being sexually molested,” Gascón told reporters. “There have been some cases where force was used as well.”
Prosecutors will ask that Turner — who had worked at Birmingham Community Charter High School and Van Nuys High School — be held without bail.
The charges involve 10 alleged victims between the ages of 15 and 17 at the time, according to the district attorney, who said he was “grateful for the many young women that have come forward.”
“Between 2017 and this year, Turner allegedly assaulted 10 student athletes who were seeking rehabilitation and recovery from sports injuries. Some of the alleged assaults occurred on campus, while other incidents took place outside of the school setting,” the district attorney said.
Turner was initially arrested Sept. 20 by Los Angeles police after a Birmingham student reported to a school official that he had inappropriately touched her while she sought treatment for an injury, according to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Jeff Bratcher, commanding officer of the Juvenile Division.
Detectives subsequently located a crime report from 2017 in which another student had reported that Turner inappropriately touched her after she reported an injury while practicing basketball at Van Nuys High School, the LAPD captain said.
That case was rejected in 2017 by the District Attorney’s Office, which cited a lack of sufficient evidence to prove the case, Bratcher said.
“The reports made by both of these victims were similar and we sought the media’s help in locating witnesses or other victims,” Bratcher told reporters. “In the days following, several minors reported that they had been touched inappropriately by the suspect,” Bratcher said.
Turner was re-arrested last Thursday, hours after he had been released on bond, the police captain said.
Gascón and Los Angeles police were asking anyone who may have been a victim of Turner or who has any information regarding potential additional assaults was asked to call the LAPD 818-374-5415 or to 877-527-3247 during non-business hours or weekends.