Crime & Justice

Moreno Valley school board member pleads not guilty to rape, pimping charges

A mug shot of Mike Rios taken after his arrest for attempted murder in February 2012
A mug shot of Mike Rios taken after his arrest for attempted murder in February 2012
Riverside Co Sheriff’s Dept

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Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of rape and pimping. Two of the alleged victims are underage girls.

Judy White, superintendent of the Moreno Valley School District, said the Board would explore all options to protect students, faculty and the community from Rios.

In a statement, White said trustees will consider seeking a restraining order barring Rios from school property.

Under state law, Rios is allowed to remain on the Board unless actually convicted of a crime. He was elected to a four-year term in 2010.

The 42-year-old trustee is accused of luring young women and girls into prostitution with promises of jobs and property.

County prosecutors say he drove at least three young women to clients, supplied them with condoms and then took half the profits. Authorities also say he raped two of the women.

Two other victims are minors, but are not Moreno Valley public school students. Earlier this year, Rios was charged with two counts of attempted murder after allegedly firing a gun at two men who’d followed him home after an argument in a nightclub.

In a jailhouse interview with the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Rios claimed the rape and pimping charges are politically motivated.

"The cops are using this [...] they're answering to other political people," he told the Press Enterprise. "This is a political assassination on me."