A boys basketball coach at a California high school was recently arrested on sexual misconduct charges.
According to KCSO, a McFarland (Calif.) High School student reported inappropriate sexual contact with a school staff member on Oct. 9. During the investigation, per KCSO, detectives learned McFarland boys basketball coach Fernando Pruneda was attempting to obtain sexual favors from the student and had possibly touched the student in an inappropriate manner.
On Oct. 14, Pruneda was arrested at the McDonald’s in McFarland. His arrest comes on five felony counts, including contacting a minor with the intent of committing a felony, and one misdemeanor count.
He was the East Sierra League Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in 2017, per the Fresno Bee.
Per KCSO, the McFarland School District has placed Pruneda on administrative leave and released this statement:
Dear Community Members,
We are sad to report that one of our District’s classified employees, Fernando Pruneda, has been arrested by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. We have been cooperating closely with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case and is no longer in contact with students.
Student safety and well-being is a very high priority in our schools and the District is concerned about the welfare of the victim. We encourage everyone to report reasonable suspicions of inappropriate behavior. Our staff and students are told that if they see or hear something they should say something. In this case, our safe schools protocols were followed.
School districts must protect the due process and privacy rights of those involved in this case and cannot provide further details at this time. If any parents, employees, or students have information relating to this case they are encouraged to contact my office or the Kern County Sheriff at 661-721-3800.