RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California school administrator who quit her job after a former student aired sexual abuse allegations on a YouTube video that has since been seen nearly a million times was charged Monday with 16 counts of sexually abusing two girls, prosecutors said.
Andrea Cardosa, 40, was charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and 11 other counts of abuse and could get life in prison, the Riverside County District Attorney's office said. She was arrested by deputies in the city of Perris soon after the charges were filed, and was expected to be arraigned Thursday, district attorney's spokesman John Hall said.
Cardosa's lawyer, Randy Collins, said after charges were filed that he couldn't immediately comment because prosecutors hadn't informed him yet. In a second attempt to reach him after the arrest, Collins' phone was not accepting messages, and he did not immediately reply to an email message.
The case came to light after a now 28-year-old woman posted the video on YouTube Jan. 17 showing her making a call to confront Cardosa about the abuse allegations that she said began when she was 12 and Cardosa was her basketball coach.
The video also was sent to the Alhambra Unified School District, where Cardosa was working as an assistant principal. The superintendent immediately referred the case to police, and Cardosa resigned the same day.
The video was viewed nearly 1 million times just days after it was posted on YouTube, and a second alleged victim later came forward.
Because the five aggravated sexual assault charges carry a life sentence, the statute of limitations does not apply though the alleged crimes took place between 1997 and 2001, district attorney's spokesman John Hall said.
Fifteen of the counts stem from allegations of abuse against the woman, named Jamie, who posted the YouTube video, and one stems from abuse allegations related to the second woman, named Brianna. Both women asked to be identified by their first names, and the Associated Press is not using either woman's full name because they say they are victims of sexual abuse.