Barstow Principal Arrested, Accused of Sexual Relationship With 17-Year-Old Student: Police

The principal of an Inland Empire high school was arrested this week for having sex with a student, authorities said Saturday.

Mark Lesley Hassell, principal of Barstow STEM Academy, had a consensual, sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student, the Barstow Police Department said in a statement. Hassell was arrested on Friday and booked on suspicion of having sex with a minor.

A Barstow police dispatcher did not say if the student attended Barstow STEM Academy. 

Police received a report that Hassell and the student were in a sexual relationship on Tuesday, according to the statement. The student confirmed to police she was in a sexual relationship with him, and said it was ongoing.

Barstow Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Academy was in its first year. It was founded in summer 2014, with Hassell charged with creating a school where teachers and students would be “thinking out of the box," according to the Desert Dispatch newspaper.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Barstow Police Department at 760-255-5134 or 1-800-78-CRIME.

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