A former California school teacher has been charged with 16 counts of sexual abuse.
The alleged offender is 40-year-old Andrea Cardosa. Cardosa received extensive media attention last month when one of her abuse victims called her on the phone and posted the conversation to YouTube.
In the video, a woman named Jamie Carrillo calls Cardosa and confronts her about her past abuse. Cardosa admits to abusing Carrillo for four years when she was a middle school student and says that she would report someone who did the things she did to police.
Carrillo posted the video to YouTube because she believed the statute of limitations for the allegations would prevent Cardosa from being prosecuted. The alleged crimes took place 13 years ago. But Riverside County Public Information specialist John Hall says that because the charges carry a potential life sentence, a statute of limitations doesn’t apply.
After Carrillo’s video gained attention, another female student came forward and accused Cardosa of sexual abuse. The second possible victim says she was a high school student at the time of the abuse.
Hall declined to say what specific evidence Riverside County officials used to charge Cardosa. He only said the charges were made “based on evidence we were given from the Riverside Police Department.”
Hall said that he would not be surprised if more victims come forward now that Cardosa has been formally charged.
"We've only charged her with two victims but as with any time you have a case like these there's always a potential that there may be more victims out there," he said.
In total, Cardosa has been charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child under the age of 14, five counts of 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.
In a written statement, Cardosa’s lawyer said his job would be to “see that justice prevails in the midst of the media wildfire” over the “very public claims of abuse.”