In her first police interview after a YouTube video was posted accusing her of child sex abuse, a California educator acknowledged she had a sexual relationship with a young student, according to a newly released court filing.
The student later told detectives she had been molested "too many times to count" between the ages of 12 and 14 by the woman who was then her basketball coach, according to the documents.
In an arrest declaration obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, Riverside police Detective Roberta Hopewell said 40-year-old Andrea Cardosa told police in a Jan. 20 interview at the school where she worked as vice principal that she had a previous sexual relationship with the now-28-year-old woman. A woman who identified herself as Cardosa also acknowledged it in the video of a phone call posted on YouTube three days earlier that has been viewed nearly a million times.
Cardosa resigned her job at Alhambra High School the day of the police interview. The woman who made the video, Jamie, had sent a link to the principal.
Cardosa had been scheduled to make her first court appearance on Wednesday on five counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and 11 other counts of abuse involving the youth and a second alleged victim, named Brianna, who came forward after watching the video.
Both women have asked to be identified by their first names. The Associated Press is not using either woman's full name because they say they are victims of sexual abuse.
Cardosa appeared in court Wednesday in shackles, wearing jailhouse blues and red sweatpants. However, her hearing was postponed until March 7.
Randy Collins, Cardosa's attorney, has declined to comment on the allegations but has said he would challenge the use of the video as evidence since state law requires parties to consent to being recorded.
"These are old, old allegations, and before we get into whether or not the evidence is going to be viable or credible when we get to court, we have to deal with whether this case should even be in court," he said.
John Henry, supervising deputy district attorney for Riverside County, said he intends to use the video in court.
"Based on my view of the law, I think that there is a very good chance that a judge will find it admissible," he said.
In the video, Jamie phones Alhambra High School, where receptionists connect her to a woman who identifies herself as Cardosa.
"You should be so ashamed and so disgusted with yourself," Jamie says.
"I am. I am," the woman says. "I regret it every day. Every day."
Jamie does not detail the alleged abuse in the video.
Cardosa told investigators in the interview that she remembered Jamie being 15 or 16 years old at the time, possibly 14, Hopewell wrote in the document. Cardosa acknowledged that the relationship continued after the girl moved from Riverside County to San Bernardino County, the arrest declaration said.
Jamie told detectives that the first of hundreds of instances of sexual contact from Cardosa, who had become a mentor to her, came in the girls locker room at Chemawa Middle School in Riverside, the declaration said.
Brianna, now 18, told detectives that she met Cardosa when she was a student at a middle school in Perris. She said Cardosa drove her to a secluded area in 2010, where she tried to kiss her and inappropriately touched her, court papers state.
If convicted of the aggravated sexual assault charges, Cardosa could face a life sentence, prosecutors said.
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