Former Shadow Hills High School basketball coach arrested, accused of raping minor

Authorities yesterday announced that former Shadow Hills High School basketball coach Ryan Towner, 35, was arrested Thursday morning, June 10th, after accusations that he raped a teenage girl surfaced last April. The incidents reportedly occurred between August 2017 and July 2018, and although the 16-year-old victim is a former player, it was not immediately clear if Towner was her coach when the alleged rapes and forced oral copulations occurred.

Towner’s arrest coincided with all coaches from both the boys and girls basketball teams at SHHS in N. Indio being relieved of their coaching duties according to Desert Sands Unified School District, who announced earlier this week that SHHS had begun the process of hiring new coaches.


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The investigation into Towner began April 23, when Sheriff’s investigators were notified regarding a past rape and sexual assault, Riverside Sheriff’s Investigator Reinbolz said after the former basketball coach’s arrest.

As their investigation continued, officials arrested Towner on three charges of rape of a minor under duress and three charges of oral copulation of a minor under duress. He was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio and his bail was set at $55,000. 

Former Shadow Hills High School basketball coach Ryan Towner was arrested yesterday after allegations of raping a 16-year-old player surfaced. The alleged incidents took place between August 2017 and July 2018. Riverside County Sheriff’s Department booking photo

Online jail records show he was released the day after his arrest after posting bail.

Although Towner, who was hired in May of 2018, enjoyed great success as head coach – including a CIF-SS Division 3A championship in 2020 – on Tuesday, just three days before his arrest, DSUSD confirmed to KESQ they were “looking to take the program in a different direction”, telling the entire coaching staff that none of the coaches for both boys and girls basketball teams would be retained.

DSUSD Public Information Officer Mary Perry later explained, “All DSUSD coaches are hired for a single season with an end of the year review of team performance and growth with a look at future athlete and team development.”

She made no mention of Towner’s arrest or the allegations  against him in her statement.


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Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Palm Desert Investigations Bureau, at (760) 836-1600, or Investigator Reinbolz at (760) 836-1634. Callers can refer to incident file number S211130031 and can remain anonymous. If anyone with information would like to remain anonymous, please call the Coachella Valley Crimes Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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