A former Mar Vista High School assistant football coach Eddie Mendoza, 27, accused of repeatedly molesting a freshman girl, is now charged with three counts of having child pornography, 10News has learned.
This comes the same day 10News found out a third Mar Vista High School employee, Alejandro Rodriguez, 20, was quietly arrested a month ago and charged with sex acts with a male student.
10News learned about Rodriguez’ arrest from a tip and confirmed with the District Attorney’s office.
Sweetwater High School District spokesman Manny Rubio said they kept quiet about it because the Sheriff's Department did not want the information released.
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell sent 10News this email:
"At the time, this was an ongoing investigation where other victims may have been involved. This, coupled with other evolving investigations, was the reason why we made the decision not to issue. Public safety is our primary mission and each case has different elements and situations. We make decisions based on the various facts and circumstances singular to each investigation."
“When allegations come out back to back, there’s clearly a breakdown in coverage somewhere,” said Steve Estey, a San Diego attorney who specializes in school-related child molestation cases.
“If there are written policies and procedures in place, they are not being followed, because when you have three in a row like this, that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg,” Estey said.
This weekend, 48-year-old Mar Vista ROTC instructor Martin Gallegos was arrested, accused of sex acts with a female student.
“Today with social media, and texting and all the kids have phones, the teachers have access to the students like never before,” Estey said. “Especially in a case like this, you need to be checking your child’s phone.”