High school referee charged with sex assault


SAN JOSE — A high school referee has been criminally charged with having sex with an underage Independence High School student earlier this year, when he was visiting the campus to officiate boys’ volleyball matches, authorities said.

Darwin Tengco, 46, has been charged with sexually assaulting a student at Independence High School during a period when he was a boys' volleyball referee at campus matches, according to San Jose police. (San Jose Police Dept.)
Darwin Tengco, 46, has been charged with sexually assaulting a student at Independence High School during a period when he was a boys’ volleyball referee at campus matches, according to San Jose police. (San Jose Police Dept.) 

Darwin Tengco, 46, of San Jose turned himself in to police Sept. 1, three days after prosecutors filed a sexual assault charge against him, according to San Jose police and court records. He was booked at the Santa Clara County jail and was later released after posting bail.

Police stated in a Wednesday news release that a female student at Independence reported last month that in April, a boys’ volleyball referee had sexually assaulted her one day after school. An investigation by the SJPD Child Exploitation Detail later identified Tengco as the referee the student was describing.

Detectives forwarded their findings to the district attorney’s office, which on Aug. 29 charged Tengco with one felony count of sexual penetration of a person under the age of 18.

Tengo could not be immediately reached Wednesday at multiple phone numbers and an email address listed for him.

The East Side Union High School District, which oversees Independence High School, and the referee organization that employed Tengco did not immediately offer comment in response to inquiries from this news organization Wednesday.

Given the nature of the allegations and Tengco’s authority position and access to students, investigators are exploring the possibility of other unreported victims and instances of misconduct. Anyone with information for San Jose police can contact Detective Camarillo at 4576@sanjoseca.gov or at 408-273-2959. Tips can also be left with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at svcrimestoppers.org.

Check back later for updates to this story.



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