A former staffer at ABLE Charter School is facing 16 counts of child sex crimes, authorities announced this week.
Erick Whiteside, a 44-year-old campus security monitor who worked at the K12 Stockton school, was arrested last week for the alleged sexual abuse of three boys and arraigned Tuesday. Charges include oral copulation and sodomy by force, fear and duress, as well as three counts of soliciting child porn and two misdemeanors for annoying a minor.
“Our children are our most valuable resource,” San Joaquin County District Attorney Ron Freitas said in a press release. “We take allegations of anyone who violates a position of trust with the utmost seriousness and urgency, and those who seek to violate the sacred trust between a child and an adult in a position of authority, will be fully prosecuted in San Joaquin County.”
According to a news release from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, a parent of a student at the school found phone messages between her child and Whiteside. The parent showed the messages to school administration, who then contacted the sheriff’s office, triggering an investigation.
ABLE officials also said in a letter sent to students and parents informing them about Whiteside’s arrest and his subsequent suspension and termination. Officials also urged parents to have “candid” discussions with their children if they ever had contact with Whiteside.
Whiteside was hired by ABLE in 2021 after clearing an extensive background check, according to school officials. He also worked as an engagement specialist and coach at the school.
The former campus security monitor is being held on $1.5 million bail, but his bail was since been revoked. He is due back in court on Oct. 11.
Freitas is asking for any additional alleged victims to contact authorities. ABLE Charter officials have also set up a hotline for any students or parents with questions or concerns at 209-478-1600, Option 6.
“As a father, grandfather, and former school board president, I urge anyone else who may have been a victim of the defendant to please come forward,” said Freitas said in a press release. “Your identity will be kept private and confidential.”