A 40-year-old woman was charged with having illegal sexual contact with two underage girls while she was a teacher and school administrator in Southern California, prosecutors said on Monday.
Andrea Michelle Cardosa has been charged with 16 felony counts, including aggravated sexual assault on a child under the age of 14, lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, and six counts of lewd acts on a child 14 or 15 years of age while the defendant is at least 10 years older than the victim, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
Cardosa is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
Local news from across Southern California
Officials began investigating allegations after one of the victims posted a video on YouTube titled "A call to my childhood rapist teacher," which showed the victim allegedly confronting Cardosa in a recorded phone conversation.
In the video, the victim thought that Cardosa would not face charges because the statute of limitations was up.
"There are counts that carry potential life sentences. When you have counts that carry potential life sentences, there's no statute of limitations restrictions on those," Riverside County District Attorney Spokesman John Hall said.
Cardosa could face life in prison if convicted, officials said.
She was arrested on a $5 million warrant at 5:45 p.m. Monday at her relative's home in the city of Perris by a Riverside County sheriff’s warrant team, officials said.
The case involving Cardosa came to light in January after Jane Doe 1, who is now an adult, found out that Cardosa was an assistant principal at Alhambra High School in Los Angeles County and called Cardosa.
That call was both video and audio taped, and the alleged victim posted the taped conversation on YouTube. That video had over 1 million views on YouTube. It has now been removed, as the video is now considered evidence in a criminal case.
Riverside detectives then began an investigation into the allegations that Cardosa had illegal sexual contact with Jane Doe 1 while the victim was a student at a middle school in the city of Riverside and continued while she was in high school.
The crimes involving Jane Doe 1 allegedly occurred from 1997 to 2001.
Within days of posting of the video on YouTube, Jane Doe 2 – also an adult – came
forward to report that she also had been victimized by Cardosa when she was a student at a high school in Perris in 2009 or 2010, prosecutors said.
"She said she was happy with the result because this vindicates the fact that she was telling the truth," the lawyer for the second victim told NBC4.