Members of the Moreno Valley school district unanimously agreed Tuesday to censure trustee Mike Rios after he was charged with 11 counts of rape and pimping.
Rios is being held in a county lockup on $250,000 bail. The board also plans to seek a restarting order barring Rios from school property should he be released.
The 42-year-old school board trustee is accused of trying to lure multiple young women and girls into prostitution. He’s also accused of raping two of the adult victims. One of the minors he allegedly met online, another while walking down the street. Neither are Moreno Valley public school students.
The board’s Tuesday meeting was packed with students and parents seeking his dismissal. Under state law, Rios is allowed to remain on the board unless convicted of a felony.
“We certainly recognize that Mr. Rios has not been convicted of anything however the charges against him are deeply disturbing,” says Moreno Valley Unified attorney Chris Keeler. He says the board could also remove Rios if he misses up to three months of meetings.
Ruthee Goldkorn of the Democratic Club of Moreno Valley is leading a recall effort against Rios. “This will give the community the opportunity to decide whether or not this is the person they want to vote for,” said Goldkorn while addressing the board from her wheelchair.
“Maybe your bylaws will be in effect. I like the one that says you can removed if you no longer live in the district. He doesn’t! He lives in jail that’s his address!” said Goldkorn to an outburst of applause and laughter.
Attorney Chris Keeler laid out several other options.
“The first being a censure. The most serious statement of disapproval and reprimand that a board can give one of its members,” said Keeler.
The board approved that action by a vote of 4 to 0. It also voted to seek a restraining order against Rios barring him school district property and requested his immediate resignation.
Rios also faces attempted murder charges in a separate case. He told the Riverside Press Enterprise in a jailhouse interview that he’s the target of a political vendetta. His next court hearing is set for later this month.