THERMAL — A 64 year-old Desert Hot Springs man who was employed as a bus driver for the Coachella Valley Unified School District has been charged with lewd acts on a child, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies from the Thermal Sheriff Station were notified in October of 2019 that a bus driver had previously inappropriately touched a student on several occasions.

Investigators from the Thermal Sheriff Station were notified and assumed the investigation, which led to the discovery of several other students reporting the same allegations. The CVUSD is home to a large English-Learner population. Enrollment for the 2018-19 school year was 18,013.

bus driver

Jose Luis Moncada

During this investigation investigators discovered that Jose Luis Moncada,  had previously inappropriately touched several students while conducting his duties as a school bus driver during 2010. On Feb. 28, 202 Moncada was located at his place of employment and arrested in the 87000 block of Avenue 57 in Thermal.

Moncada was later transported and booked at the county jail in Indio for multiple charges of lewd acts with a minor.

Under California Penal Code Section 288, the legal definition of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor consists of two elements of the crime that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You willfully touched any part of a child’s body or that you willfully caused a child to touch his/her own body, your body, or another person’s body; and
  • You did so with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passion, or sexual desires of yourself or the child.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Investigator Herrera by calling 760-863-8460.

Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form by clicking here.


Image Sources

  • Jose Luis Moncada: RSO