Inland Empire News
Mike Rios case sees Moreno Valley parent reactions
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- For the second time, a scandal involving school board member Mike Rios is rocking the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
On Wednesday night, Rios, who was already out on bail for two counts of attempted murder, was arrested again outside his home on Palm Shadow Drive on 11 new felony charges, including two counts of rape, three counts of pimping and six counts for pandering, for allegedly trying to lure his victims into prostitution.
It's news that has parents like Bruce Rodgers calling for Rios to step down.
"I believe that for one, it is a shame. After the first time, I don't believe they should have let him back in nowhere around the system with kids anyway," said Rodgers. "I don't see how this is happening."
The case involves six women, two of which are underage girls he allegedly contacted online.
"There was at least one of the underage victims who actually was advertising her services online and he contacted her through that," said Riverside County official John Hall.
A February shooting outside Rios' house brought two counts of attempted murder, according to investigators. Rios has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
As they dug deeper, investigators say they uncovered even more about Rios, leading to his arrest on rape and pimping charges.
Rios' second arrest comes as the school district is dealing with its own set of issues.
"We have enough on our plates concerning teacher cuts and things like that and money and other things in the district that needs to be fixed. So this is a total shock to me," said Moreno Valley School Board Vice President Cleveland Johnson.
In a statement released Thursday, the school board said it cannot ask Rios to step down because he is an elected official. However, if Rios is convicted of a felony, the board can have him removed. The statement also said the school board is seeking a restraining order against Rios and they also want an emergency policy change that would ban board members from participating in district functions if they are charged with a crime against a minor.
A recall effort is now under way to push him out of office, but either a trial or a recall will take time.
"As of yesterday, last month it should have been done. That's too long to wait," said Rodgers.
Rios is being held on $500,000 bail and his arraignment was scheduled for Friday.
The Riverside County District Attorney's Office is seeking additional victims. Anyone with information should call (951) 955-5400.
education, arrest, murder, inland empire news, leticia juarez
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