Multiple victims come forward in Riverside high school rape investigation

RIVERSIDE, Calif., — Authorities say a months-long investigation into several allegations of past sexual assaults involving three victims at a Riverside High School has led to the arrest of a former Riverside man. The alleged sexual assaults occurred at Martin Luther King High School during the 2018-2019 school year when the suspect, 20-year-old Thailar Christian Patterson, was in his senior year at the campus.

After obtaining a warrant for his arrest, Patterson was found to be living in Texas; and on Friday, Nov. 12, he was located and arrested. He was then extradited back to Riverside County and booked into a Riverside County jail on several felony charges, where he remains held without bail.

Due to the nature of the allegations and multiple victims already identified, detectives believe there may be additional victims who have not yet been identified or interviewed, and have asked for additional potential victims and/or witnesses to step forward.


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The Riverside Police Department’s Sexual Assault – Child Abuse Unit (SACA) launched an investigation into Patterson’s alleged past criminal activities last July after a teenage girl disclosed that a former classmate had sexually assaulted her almost three years ago, Riverside PD explained today.

The victim told SACA detectives the sexual assaults occurred multiple times throughout the school year.

“During their investigation, detectives learned of a second victim classmate who came forward with similar allegations, along with a third victim who disclosed the suspect sexually assaulted her in 2019,” Riverside PD explained.

Officials did not say what happened with the earlier allegations and why those claims did not result in an arrest at the time.

Based on their lengthy and exhaustive investigation, which included interviewing the past victims uncovered while working on the case, SACA detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Patterson alleging numerous sexual assault violations, including an enhancement for multiple victim sexual assault, and began searching for him.

Riverside PD’s METRO Team and the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force learned Patterson was residing in Texarkana, Texas, and he was arrested on Friday, before being brought back to Riverside County to face his charges.

He was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on Monday on three charges; including two counts of rape by force or fear and assault with great bodily injuries. Additional charges are expected to be filed.

SACA Detectives believe there may be others who were victimized by Patterson or may have additional information regarding these sexual assaults, who have not yet come forward.

Anyone with information regarding this ongoing investigation and arrest, or who was victimized by Patterson is urged to immediately contact Detective Melissa Brazil at (951) 353-7950 or by email.

Contact the writer:

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.