SAN JOSE (KCBS)— School leaders in Santa Clara County have hired an outside investigator to look into reports of child molestation at a local environmental camp for kids. Former camp employee Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla remains behind bars after his May 7th arrest on allegations of file-sharing child pornography.
The 27-year-old, who was a night monitor at Saratoga’s Walden-West Science Camp, was charged with an additional count of child molestation. Now, the Santa Clara County has hired an investigator to look into the camp where Covarrubias-Padilla worked.
“This is a higher priority case,” said Sgt. James Jensen with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. “This guy went after the youngest people…the most vulnerable. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen. We’re going to try to get all the victims together and try to bring the case to the district attorney’s office. He needs to serve time.”
The sheriff’s office said it’s received at least 100 calls and 50 emails from concerned parents. The San Jose Mercury News reports the Office of Education had initially assured Covarrubias-Padilla, known to the kids as “Papa Bear”, had no contact with children. However, that information was proven to be false. He was available at night if campers wanted to talk or felt homesick. The office quickly corrected the misinformation about the supervisor’s contact with kids. Parents claim he would wake the campers in the morning with music playing from his laptop.
Since the arrest, the county Office of Education forced the rule of three at the camp requiring when a student is with a staff member, at least one other person is present.