Former school security guard convicted of sexual abuse charges

A former Desert Hot Springs school security guard will be required to register as a sex offender after being convicted of four sexual abuse charges involving female students Tuesday.

A jury found 47-year-old Marvin Cash guilty of simple assault, simple battery and two counts of molesting a child under 18, all of them misdemeanors. Sentencing is scheduled for May 21 at the Palm Springs courthouse.

Deputy District Attorney Brijida Rodarte could not say how much jail time Cash is facing.

During opening statements, Rodarte told jurors that Cash began sexually harassing girls in 1997, beginning with his then-girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter.

More than 10 years later, Cash started working at Desert Springs Middle School in Desert Hot Springs, where he helped enforce the school's tardy

In February 2010, Cash befriended a female student who was often late to class. According to Rodarte, that student later reported to school officials of an incident in the school store, when the two were getting ice cream from a freezer.

"She closes the (freezer) door and sees Mr. Cash. His pants are open ... He's exposing himself and manipulating himself," Rodarte told the jury.

She said Cash grabbed the girl's hand and made her touch his private parts, kissed her on the lips and touched her breast. "He was a trusted person," the prosecutor said.

School officials contacted law enforcement officers after the student came forward. Following her report, other girls reported being harassed, including an eighth-grader who said Cash offered her $50 to send him a photo of herself. Rodarte also said Cash made comments about girls' bodies, asking one of them when she would have his baby.

However, Cash's attorney, Louisa Pensanti said her client was guilty of nothing more than "being the cool security guy at the school and making comments."

"None (of the allegations) rises to the level of a felony. There's no evidence of the conduct the prosecutor outlined for you," Pensanti said.

Cash stopped working for the Palm Springs Unified School District in mid-2010, according to a district spokeswoman, who declined to say if he quit or was fired, citing personnel confidentiality.


comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries