By Samantha Bartholomew
A Riverside City College adjunct kinesiology professor was arrested Dec. 4 on suspicion of soliciting a minor for sex.
According to a press release from the Riverside Police Department, detectives learned of a male suspect who had offered to pay a person who was presenting themselves as a girl under the age of 18 for a sexual encounter. Investigators traced the messages to a location in Riverside and contacted the man in question, who was identified as Thomas Borden, 61 and taken into custody.
After he was taken into custody, Borden has also been placed on administrative leave “pending an investigation” by the Riverside Community College District, associate vice chancellor Peggy Cartwright said.
According to Justin Grayson, a spokesman for the Riverside Unified School District, Borden has also worked as a full-time resource teacher at Raincross High School since 1991.
Borden also served as a walk-on swim coach at Riverside City College, according to Robert Schmidt, a spokesman for the college.
Jason Northcott, head coach for RCC’s men’s swim team, could not be reached for comment.
“The district is extremely concerned by the allegations against Mr. Borden,” Grayson said in a statement issued Dec. 6. “Mr. Borden has been placed on administrative leave.”
Grayson said that “any teacher convicted of a sex offense is automatically terminated.”
He was arrested at the Galleria at Tyler on Dec. 4 at approximately 5 p.m. on suspicion of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a felony, arranging a meeting with a minor to commit lewd acts and soliciting a minor for prostitution services.
As of Dec. 7, RCC students and faculty have not received any notification about Borden from the college. Parents from Raincross High School have been notified about Borden through an automated phone call.
He was held on $50,000 bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center and later released Dec. 5. Borden is scheduled to appear in court at the Riverside Hall of Justice on Dec. 7.
The Riverside Police Department said they believe that there may be more victims and have urged the public to come forward if they have any further information.
“Whenever we arrest someone who regularly interacts with minors and is in a position where students easily trust them, we always try to see if there are any other victims,” Ryan Railsback, public information officer for RPD, said.