Oct 182011

NEWS-LEDGER – Oct. 18, 2011 online –

By Steve Marschke, News-Ledger Editor

River City High’s head football coach is on paid administrative leave while school officials investigate a complaint that he “inappropriately touched” a female student. Coach Arturo (“Art”) Bustamante is a social studies teacher at the school, as well as second-year head coach for football.

The school reported the complaint to the West Sacramento Police Department, Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the W.S.P.D. told the News-Ledger on Monday.

“The allegation came out on the 11th,” he said. “They said, ‘we have an allegation of a teacher and a student, and it’s a ‘touching’ allegation.’ As far as we’re concerned, we took an incident report and it’s been forwarded to the District Attorney’s office. We didn’t do anything further.”

  Police didn’t feel they had enough information to warrant an arrest, and it’s now up to the D.A.’s office to decide if further action is needed.

Coach Art Bustamante (2010 News-Ledger file photo)

Dayton Gilleland, superintendent of the Washington Unified School District, said the district is also investigating.

“There is an ongoing investigation underway,” said Gilleland. “We have (placed Bustamante) on paid administrative leave pending this investigation. There’s no disciplinary action that’s been taken.”

Bustamante did not immediately respond to a phone call to his home or to an email from the News-Ledger.

The “touching” complaint came from a female student at the school who is a minor, said Sockman.

Bustamante is the former junior varsity football coach at the school. He took over head coach duties last year. The squad reversed its recent fortunes, winning narly every game it played and making it to the playoffs. This year, the team is 4-3.

Athletic Director Char Ghio declined to answer several emailed questions, including the question of who is now coaching the team. — referring questions to the district office.  But Superintendent Gilleland said it was his understanding that Assistant Coach Baker is holding the reins.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2011




  13 Responses to “Coach Bustamante on leave after allegation”

  1. I find it so dangerous that a “he said/she said” situation can get such public notice when it is of a subject such as this that can effect the reputation and livelyhood of a person even after an accusation may be found groundless. If there is more to the story than a touch on the lower back area of a student then please investigate but it seems to me that over reaction is what happened here. I find it sad that people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon when there is dirt, real or imagined. I don’t know the girl, but I know how friendly people behave and Mr. Bustamante seemed, to me, to be an outgoing and friendly teacher who wouldnt think twice about, what most would seem as innocent, contact with another person in conversation. I understand that a teacher should be more guarded in their interations with students but my gut feeling is that this is a friendly, maybe too casual, but good teacher who was casual with an idividual who has a smaller “personal space” than most. I hope he will be back to school soon. It’s mid term time and he is a very good History teacher.

  2. NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Comments on this and other News-Ledger stories are welcome here. To those thinking of leaving a comment, please bear in mind that this story is particularly sensitive. An allegation of a teacher “inappropriately touching” a student deeply affects the lives of both of these people. Let’s all make sure to keep our remarks here civil and fair.

  3. There is a fine line between being a teacher and a neighborhood friend. When neighbors can see you inviting young girls to your home to pull weeds and clean your yard, things can go south very quickly. I can’t imagine why an educator would put themselves in the position in this day and age.

    This is very sad. Whether true or not people are damaged. A young lady, who, if true, is put to scrutiny for having the courage to speak out to an injustice that occurred, an assault that most likely caused her discomfort. especially when he’s such a popular coach amongst her peers. A trust has been broken, no matter what. And then the he said/she said statement, as though her words are not valued. However, if the allegation is not true, we have an educator with a stain on his name, who, will hopefully have learned not to have young women from the high school doing his yard work.

  4. From what I can tell, the “yard work” has not been part of the complaint and the assumtions of a neighbor can not be added to the facts here. Do we know that the young people were students and not family members, (neices, family friends) who asked to earn some spending money? Lumping an oddball comment made by an interviewed, though unrated to the case, person is not fair.
    My daughter enjoys his class, that’s all I know. I hear that a back was touched. I know that teenagers, male and female, need to feel safe standing up for themselves if they don’t feel safe. I also know that a there is a fine line and care needs to be taken when “information” or random observations are made. When it’s so POSSIBLE that there could be no harmful intent, people shouldn’t automaticly assume the worst before it is proven. In charges such as this, innocent until proven guilty just isn’t fair enough. The mear mention of this type of impropriety can permanently damage a person long after innocence has been found.

  5. Yes we know for a fact that it was not family cleaning the back yards. i dont want to start rumors, but that is fact. Liking a class and getting touched is two different things.

  6. We shall wait and see and let this play out.

  7. life is hard to get by as it is.

  8. Angela, you are so correct. Years ago the same allegation was made towards a Student Resource Officer by a female student. The Yolo County D.A. decided to take it all the way to Superior Court. The officer was found innocent by a jury when it was discovered that the star witness, who was a school district employee, had called in sick the day the alleged crime took place and she said she witnessed. It destroyed that officers career. Everyone is entitled to their day in court. Hopefully if it is true or not, that will come out in the end. Let’s also hope the Yolo County D.A. does a better job on the investigation of this allegation before moving forward. Lets not prejudge either side on something so serious.

  9. But happens when you know the people of these events and how they are trying to do the right thing and tell somebody about what happen? What happens when you know of 3 events of 3 different groups of people and 2 out of the first 3 were swept under the rug? What happens?……

  10. I want to thank you folks for keeping your comments civil and respectful.

    We did have one person make a very heartfelt post on this topic which has been deleted. The reason is that the post made some additional accusations and also referred to a possible abuse victim in a manner in which she could be easily identified.

    Although the author no doubt had the best of intentions, those two acts stepped over the line for this forum. So I will appreciate it if that author, and and other authors, continue to be very careful with their discussion of this very sensitive topic.

    Let’s not use this discussion to make personal accusations nor to violate anyone’s privacy.


  11. What I don’t understand is this. What does this have to do with school if it happened off school grounds and does this mean that I as a woman cannot have underage kids working in my yard to earn money anymore without another person there to supervise.

  12. Yes, you can have people, kids, adults doing your yard work to earn extra money, however with that said comes responsiblities and making sure you dont get accused of touching a student (EDITED BY ADMINISTRATOR)

  13. @ Vivian – I think what Jane is trying to say is that we are all held accountable for our actions as adults. However, as a teacher, I think they are held to a higher standard. You need to ask yourself, “Would it be appropriate to have female students doing yard work at my home? Or would it be questioned in a negative light since I am a male teacher?” My number one rule in life that I’ve taught my children is to never put yourself in a situation that could be questioned by others or where you think your actions could be quesitoned in a negative light. Just avoid that type of situation and try to make good choices before you act. Even if you may be innocent of any wrong doing, once doubt is brought in, it sometimes becomes hard to prove your innocence. In this instance, it seems this is what happened. And since questions and doubts have been raised on more than just this one incident, this type of behavior does show that you possibly allowed yourself to be placed in situations that can and are being questioned. Which brings me to, we are all entitled to our opinion, but we need to remember to respect each other’s opinion and/or questions, regardless if you are in agreement or not. And more importantly, as a community, we need to stay calm, and hope that the West Sacramento Police Dept, the District Attorney’s office, River City High School, and the Washington Unified School District Office and any other authorities work together in thoroughly and properly resolving this matter, one way or another.