UPDATE: Accused of sexual abuse of minor, SJUSD coach/security guard free on $5,000 bail
UPDATED: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 12:05 p.m., With additional details regarding suspect’s release from custody.
Originally Published: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 5:32 a.m.
SAN JACINTO, Calif., — A local man who works for the San Jacinto Unified School District as a coach and security guard who was arrested on Tuesday is out of custody after posting $5,000 bail or bond the day after his arrest, according to jail records.
The man, 37-year-old Damian Huff, was booked on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor, oral copulation with a person younger than 18 and annoying or molesting a minor – all considered low-level misdemeanors under current California laws. A Sheriff’s release after Huff’s arrest indicated the alleged sexual abuse took place in “multiple locations within San Jacinto”.
Although it was not immediately clear if Huff is still employed by the school district, both the Sheriff’s Department and District have said he was placed on administrative leave after district officials learned he was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
Deputies and investigators from the Hemet and San Jacinto Sheriff Stations began looking into Huff’s alleged criminal activities on Wednesday, Sept. 15th. However, before any investigation could be conducted, investigators learned the school district had already placed Huff on administrative leave after they had learned of the alleged incidents, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Heath reported the day of Huff’s arrest.
Jail records indicate he was arrested at the Hemet Police Station at around 11:30 a.m.; however, it was not immediately clear how or if that agency was involved in the investigation or Huff’s arrest.
After learning of Huff’s arrest, SJUSD spokesperson Dawn Lawrence said in an email that Huff was hired as a campus security officer in April 2019 and became a junior varsity football coach at San Jacinto High School in September of that year.
Although Lawrence said in her email that Huff was “immediately placed on administrative leave and was prohibited from accessing all campuses when we learned of the allegations,” it was not immediately clear when the district learned of the allegations or when Huff was placed on leave.
However, she did confirm that the district had been informed about Huff’s arrest on Monday and said the district “will continue to work closely with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department as part of their ongoing criminal investigation.”
Jail records today indicate Huff was released on $5,000 bail or bond yesterday and that he is free from custody until his Dec. 17th arraignment at the Murrieta Southwest Justice Center.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Ruben Martinez at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Hemet Station by calling (951) 791-3400. Callers can refer to incident file number I212570037 and can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 50, 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.