KCSO has released new details regarding the arrest of a McFarland basketball coach for sexual misconduct.
On October 9, a McFarland High School student reported inappropriate sexual contact with a McFarland High School staff member. During the investigation, detectives learned Fernando Pruneda, a basketball coach at McFarland High School, was attempting to obtain sexual favors from the student and had possibly touched the student in an inappropriate manner.
Pruneda was arrested at the McDonald's in McFarland on October 14 without incident. He was arrested on 5 felony counts, including contacting a minor with the intent of committing a felony. He was also arrested on one misdemeanor count.
The McFarland School District has placed Pruneda on administrative leave and released this statement.
Dear Community Members,We are sad to report that one of our District’s classified employees, Fernando Pruneda, has been arrested by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. We have been cooperating closely with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case and is no longer in contact with students.
Student safety and well-being is a very high priority in our schools and the District is concerned about the welfare of the victim. We encourage everyone to report reasonable suspicions of inappropriate behavior. Our staff and students are told that if they see or hear something they should say something. In this case, our safe schools protocols were followed.
School districts must protect the due process and privacy rights of those involved in this case and cannot provide further details at this time. If any parents, employees, or students have information relating to this case they are encouraged to contact my office or the Kern County Sheriff at 661-721-3800.