A Menifee high school girls' basketball coach suspected of having sexual relations with a student is out of a job, officials confirmed Thursday.
"This is all very disconcerting, very sad," Perris Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Greenberg said. "The district, of course, had no way of knowing this kind of thing might happen."
Greenberg told City News Service that the suspect, 23-year-old Lauren Cecile Matheney, was terminated Wednesday, shortly after it was learned she was arrested on suspicion of oral copulation of a minor and annoying a child.
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"When we were notified by the police, we immediately took action," Greenberg said.
He said Matheney was suspended on Jan. 22, when Murrieta police initiated an investigation into the woman's alleged relationship with a teenager.
According to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad, on the night of Jan. 22, a patrol officer was checking a suspicious vehicle parked near the intersection of Keller and Menifee roads when he came upon Matheney and a 15-year-old. He did not disclose what the woman and child, whose identity -- including gender -- was withheld, were doing in the car.
Detectives were notified, as well as officials at the Perris Union High School District, which had hired Matheney last year to be the girls' junior varsity basketball coach at Paloma Valley High School.
"It became apparent the relationship between Ms. Matheney and the minor was inappropriate and criminal in nature," Conrad said.
After a weeklong investigation, Matheney was arrested and booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. She posted a $25,000 bond and was released Wednesday afternoon, within hours of being taken into custody.
More Possible Victims
According to Greenberg, the school district sent notices to students' parents at the time of Matheney's suspension, and when she was terminated.
"That way, any victims at the school would know to come forward," the superintendent said.
Police, too, are hoping anyone else who may have been victimized by Matheney come forward.
"Although an arrest has been made and the case has been submitted to the Riverside County District Attorney for filing, there remains a possibility that additional minor victims may not have come forward," Conrad said. "Any victims or witnesses with relevant information concerning this case are encouraged to contact the Murrieta Police Department."
Those with information are asked to contact Conrad directly, at 951.461.6309.
Greenberg said Matheney was hired as the JV coach in August 2013 following a background check. The position was paid and involved supervising about 15 players.
Matheney, a Perris resident, was a 2008 graduate of Paloma Valley High School, Greenberg said.
— City News Service contributed to this report.