A Sanger High School Teacher has been charged with raping a minor. The DA released the formal complaint Wednesday. Police say 48-year-old Sergio Heredia was taken into custody on Tuesday following an investigation Monday night.
Heredia has been charged on two counts including sexual penetration by force and forcible rape. The small town of Sanger is stunned by the allegations. “I’m shocked,” says a Sanger resident whose nephew attends the high school. “Surprised, a little disgusted,” says Sanger graduate Dillion Rodriguez.
The alleged crime happened at Heredia's Sports Bistro. Sanger Police say a witness called; they'd seen Heredia assaulting a 17-year-old employee inside the sports bar; officers served two warrants, one at his home the other at his restaurant.
Police found evidence but would not go into detail.
People who knew him preferred to remain anonymous but said, “He seems like a really nice guy, he really did. That's what shocks me the most; he seemed like such a nice guy so when I heard what he'd been accused of I was like ‘woah.’” She and another graduate, Dillion Rodriguez, say they went to Sanger High where Heredia teaches social studies. Both say they didn’t have him as a teacher but knew people in his class. “They said he was a great guy; it was fun to be in his class,” says Rodriguez.
Heredia has taught at Sanger for nearly a decade. “I am shocked. I have been here 40 years and can’t believe what's happening at Sanger High," says a parent. “I can’t believe this is going on here at this school, my two kids come here,” says Christina Rivera.
Heredia is a well-liked teacher trusted by students; a trust students say is now broken. “Teachers are like parents, they're there to guide you and to hear something like that is crazy,” says Rodriguez.
Sanger High Schools Superintendent Marcus Johnson says, "This is a personnel matter and is being dealt with in accordance with the law and school board policy."
Heredia was booked into the Fresno County Jail; he's being held on $130,000 bail. He’s expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.
Christina Lusby Reporting.