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California educator due in court Friday, accused on YouTube of sexual abuse

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By Steve Almasy

A California educator arrested after a former student accused her in a YouTube video of sexual abuse is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

Andrea Michelle Cardosa was charged in February with five counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and 11 counts of lewd acts on a child, the the Riverside County district attorney's office said. Her arraignment, originally scheduled for Thursday, was moved to 9 a.m. (noon ET) Friday.

The charges came after a former student, now 28, posted a YouTube video in which she accused the educator of abusing her at age 12.

Cardosa faces possible life in prison if convicted of the aggravated sexual assault charges.

Cardosa's lawyer, Randy Collins, said in a written statement earlier this week that in the face of "very public claims of abuse," it would be his task "to see that justice prevails in the midst of the media wildfire."

He added, "Fortunately, our justice system requires more than a YouTube video to determine the facts of a case. As we proceed, I am certain that evidence will shed new light on all charges filed by the D.A.'s office against my client."

Collins said Cardosa was grateful for the "outpouring of support from her family, friends, colleagues, and students during this difficult time."

Earlier, he said Cardosa's legal team planned to challenge the filing against the statute of limitations and challenge the bail motion to reduce the amount from $5 million. But John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said there is no statute of limitations on the most serious charge -- aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14.

After the first woman posted a YouTube video of her accusations in January, another woman came forward.

The second alleged victim, now 18, has filed a complaint accusing the Val Verde Unified School District in Perris, California, of negligence.

David Ring, lawyer for the older accuser, said, "She is very gratified that the DA has brought charges against this perpetrator. She hopes justice is done in the criminal case and that Cardosa admits to what she's done, which she already admitted to in the phone call -- that she ruined her childhood."

Cardosa resigned January 17 from her most recent job as an administrator at Alhambra High School in Southern California after the first accusation was uploaded on YouTube, according to the school district.

The video features the alleged victim on camera and what is said to be the teacher's voice on a phone conversation. In the video, the teacher can be heard acknowledging the abuse claim.

The first alleged victim said the abuse took place "off and on" for her between the ages of 12 and 18. She said she didn't come forward as a teenager because the teacher had brainwashed her.

"She told me that my family didn't love me. She told me that nobody cared about me and that she was the only one that loved me and the only one that was there for me," she said. "She made me believe that she was my only friend, and that I could trust her."

The alleged victim said she didn't want a physical relationship, but she said the teacher threatened her multiple times.

"She said that she would kill herself if I ever left. And I believed that," the alleged victim said

 

CNN's Stephanie Elam and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this story.

 

The-CNN-Wire

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