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Former HS Coach Out on Bond in Assault Case

Tabatha Wethal

A former Shadow Hills High School coach in Indio, Calif., is out on bond after he was arrested following a rape investigation opened earlier this year.

Ryan Leron Towner, 35, is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl he coached. KESQ-TV reported that Towner was released after posting $55,000 bond.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office told KCBS-TV that the alleged crime happened between May and July 2018, though the sheriff’s department said authorities opened the investigation in April 2021 for conduct that allegedly occurred between August 2017 and July 2018.

The victim is a minor and former player.

Towner was charged last week with one felony count each of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old with force and unlawful intercourse with a minor.

Towner's arrest in June happened just one day after school officials confirmed that they would not be bringing him back as the boys' head basketball coach.

The Desert Sands Unified School District said the principal and athletic director were "looking to take the program in a different direction,” KCBS-TV reported.

Towner coached the Shadow Hills boys' team from 2018 through most of the 2021 season. The Knights won the Division 3-A championship in 2020. Towner missed the final 10 games of Shadow Hills' season. His absence came after the team had a positive COVID test within the program. Shadow Hills was forced to forfeit three league games in the process.

Towner is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 12 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Towner has a prior felony conviction for credit card fraud.

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