[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
On Tuesday, a former Simi Valley, California high school teacher and coach pleaded no contest to committing sex crimes involving dozens of underage students, according to KTLA.
According to authorities, Bijan Nickroo, 35, was working at Simi Valley High School when he allegedly created a fake social media profile and “catfished” at least two dozen teenage boys. He went on to solicit pornographic photos and videos from the minors, according to the allegations.
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He then arranged to meet one underage victim in person — at his school office to boot! Officials claim Bijan performed oral sex on the minor, whose family later reported the incident to the police. During a 2021 hearing, police detective Casey Nicholson, who interviewed the then-14-year-old boy who came forward with allegations, claimed the sex act occurred in November 2019. Gene Colato, the school resource officer, noted there was surveillance footage that corroborated the teen’s account, per local outlet VC Star. Throughout an investigation, authorities identified 28 known victims of the teacher. So horrific.
Nickroo was an assistant football coach, a lacrosse coach, and a yard supervisor at Simi Valley High School. He worked in the Simi Valley Unified School District from June 2012 to December 2019 (the time of his arrest).
Earlier this week, he pleaded no contest to multiple sex crimes, including luring, oral copulation of a minor under 16, possession of child pornography, and multiple counts of contact with intent to commit child pornography crimes, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Truly awful. Pleading no contest means the individual accepts conviction but does not plead or admit guilt. Because of the plea, he faces up to five years in prison.
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Senior Deputy District Attorney Edward “Ted” Andrews, the prosecutor on the case, told outlets via KTLA:
“We trust our children to coaches and teachers. The defendant’s criminal acts erode that trust. He targeted children with whom he worked and used his position of trust and authority to sexually abuse them in the real world and pursue them sexually online as well, causing tremendous harm to our community.”
A sentencing hearing has been set for January 11, 2023. We hope this case brings some justice to the teacher’s many alleged victims. We need to do better to keep children safe from this kind of abuse and trauma.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out https://www.rainn.org/resources.
[Image via Ventura County District Attorney’s Office]