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Glendale High student suspected of sexual battery

Teen denies allegation but tells police he was accused of a similar incident at previous high school.

May 18, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

A Glendale High School student who was arrested this week after he allegedly grabbed a 42-year-old woman’s crotch told police he was accused of the same crime at another school campus, according to police.

The student, Ryan Navarrete, 18, of Los Angeles was arrested Monday on suspicion of sexual battery after he allegedly assaulted the Santa Clarita woman as she walked on Brand Boulevard in downtown Glendale.

Navarrete denied grabbing the woman, but told officers he was accused of “doing the same thing at Crescenta Valley High School and has had to transfer to Glendale High due to the allegations,” according to police reports.

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District officials declined to comment on the allegations or the student’s history, including at Crescenta Valley High, citing confidentiality issues, according to Cuauhtemoc Avila, educational services director at Glendale Unified.

But according to the school district’s disciplinary policy, students who commit or attempt a sexual assault or battery can be recommended for suspension or expulsion.

Navarrete is also a possible person of interest in another case, according to Det. Rodger Burt of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Burt declined to discuss the case in further detail because it was under investigation.

The woman in Monday’s incident told police that she was walking on Brand Boulevard to West Elk Avenue in downtown Glendale when Navarrete allegedly walked up behind her, grabbed her crotch and buttocks, and told her she had a nice butt, according to police reports.

She immediately turned around as Navarrete allegedly ran away.

The woman then got into her car and drove along South Brand Boulevard, where she allegedly saw Navarrete sitting on a bus bench at Lomita Avenue.

When she pulled her car up to the sidewalk and tried to snap a photograph of Navarrete with her cell phone, he allegedly jumped up from the bus bench and ran west on Lomita through some apartments.

She later spotted him on Brand Boulevard and Chestnut Street, called police and continued to follow him until officers arrived.

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