Turlock cop, teacher face sex charges

Jorge Cruz
Jorge Cruz Stanislaus County Sheriff

TURLOCK -- A police officer and a Pitman High School teacher were arrested Friday on suspicion of sexual acts with the same 17-year-old Pitman senior, authorities reported.

Both men confessed to the crimes, Police Chief Gary Hampton said. They did not know each other and the relationships did not overlap.

Officer Jorge Fernando Cruz, 31, is a three-year Turlock Police Department veteran. He was arrested on suspicion of rape, sodomy with a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and oral copulation with a minor and was booked at Stanislaus County Jail. He posted bail on Friday about 7:20 p.m., according to sheriff's spokesman Royjindar Singh.

Carl Kubicek, 35, a math teacher and assistant football coach at Pitman, was arrested on suspicion of multiple occurrences of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a minor, Hampton said.

Kubicek, who lives in Turlock, had not been booked at the jail Friday night, so his bail and photograph were not available, Singh said.

Police and school officials said they believe there are no other victims, though the investigation remains open. Media coverage, Hampton said, might lead other victims to come forward.

The police inquiry began Thursday morning when the girl's mother learned about the teenager's relationship with Kubicek, Hampton said. The teenager's parents had noticed changes in her behavior recently and grew suspicious.

"She was simply not acting normal," Hampton said, but declined to give further details because of the investigation.

As investigators looked into the teenager's story, Hampton said, she admitted to earlier nonconsensual sex acts with Cruz, who is married and a Turlock resident.

The teenager, whose name has been withheld because she is a minor, had been involved "for some time" in the Turlock Police Explorer program, Hampton said. During the past six to eight months, the teenager rode along with Cruz more than once. There were "multiple incidents" during which Cruz used coercion, fear and intimidation to have sexual relations with her, Hampton said.

Sometime after these incidents, the teen- ager said, she began a sexual relationship with Kubicek, her math teacher, Hampton said.

Kubicek has been placed on administrative leave, according to the Turlock Unified School District. He has been a teacher with the district since July 1, 2000, but has worked at locations other than Pitman. District spokeswoman Janet Pohl-De Mello said she did not know when Kubicek started at Pitman.

But a Bee story on Pitman's opening day on Aug. 26, 2002, quoted Kubicek as saying, "It's beautiful. It's like being on a college campus."

By Friday evening, Kubicek's photograph, class schedule and contact information had been removed from Pitman's Web site.

A statement from the district said a substitute will teach his classes. The school has arranged for counselors and psychologists to be available Monday morning.

When Hampton learned of the accusations against Cruz, he said, he asked the Stanislaus County district attorney's office to assist with the investigation to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. Cruz has been placed on administrative leave, Hampton said. It remains to be determined whether regulations require Cruz to be paid during his leave.

Hampton met with the victim and her family Friday afternoon. He described her as confused, scared, upset and worried.

Hampton said Kubicek's and Cruz's alleged behavior should not be used to judge Turlock's "hundreds of public servants."

"The officer and the high school teacher are still entitled to a trial in the courts, and they will have that," Hampton said. "At this point, they have violated the trust that our entire community instills in them as public servants."

Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235.

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