Coach Bustamante suspended after allegation

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.

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

Coach Art Bustamante (2010 News-Ledger file photo)

“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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