Teacher Who Molested At Least 17 Students Set To Be Released Despite Fears He Could Hurt Children Again

| by Lisa Fogarty

A California physical education teacher who was found guilty of molesting at least 17 students will be released from a state hospital by Sunday, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Alan Rigby, 66, served 20 years – first in prison and then in Coalinga State Hospital – for reportedly molesting children at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach between 1985 and 1987. He was also convicted of 18 counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of lewd acts on a child with force. It is believed that he molested 15 boys and two girls between the ages of 10 and 14, reports KTLA.

“He convinced students to participate in what he called an initiation, which involved a sexual act to become part of a club that he represented existed to them,” said Orange County Deputy District Attorney Shannon Back. “It was a secret club.”

The terms of Rigby’s release are reportedly unconditional, and the man will be allowed to walk free without supervision, Back said.

The District Attorney’s office has fought to keep Rigby, diagnosed with pedophilia, civilly committed as a sexually violent predator, but a Superior Court judge decided he was fit to be released.

The man, who was a track coach at the elementary school as well as at UCLA, pleaded not guilty at the time of his sentencing. He received a 19-year sentence, but served 10 years in state prison and the rest of his time at the mental hospital.

A state mental health evaluator said Rigby reportedly met two of three criteria to be labeled a sexually violent predator, but he wouldn’t be labeled as such because it isn’t believed that he will molest children again because of his age and the fact that he completed a treatment program.

But the DA’s office disagrees and has argued that Rigby should remain locked away because of his diagnosis. In their eyes, completing a treatment program does not mean he is cured and will no longer pose a “threat to the community.”

Rigby is planning to live with his sister in either Michigan or New York when he is released this week, and he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Sources: CBS Los Angeles, KTLA