Principal of Edward A. Hall Middle School Arrested on Multiple Felony Sexual Assault Charges

Watsonville’s Edward A. Hall Middle School was shaken last week as the principal, Dagoberto Garcia, was arrested by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of multiple felony sexual assault allegations. The 58-year-old educator, who has been leading the school since March 2022, is facing charges that include rape of an intoxicated woman, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and oral copulation of an intoxicated person.

Garcia’s arrest took place on Thursday, but his name was not listed in Friday’s inmate logs for the Santa Cruz County Jail. In response to the situation, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District has decided to place Garcia on paid administrative leave during the ongoing investigation by the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office. Interim superintendent Murry Schekman assured district families in a letter that an interim administrator would be appointed at Edward A. Hall Middle School to ensure uninterrupted instruction and leadership.

The safety and well-being of the community remain the district’s top priority, and they are fully cooperating with the authorities. Counseling services will be made available on-site for those in need. Garcia’s LinkedIn profile and media reports indicate that he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Santa Cruz, as well as a doctorate of education degree from the University of the Pacific. Prior to his tenure at Edward A. Hall Middle School, he served as a superintendent in a Tulare County school district for five years, followed by a year as a junior high school principal in Tulare County. He then worked as a school district superintendent in Kern County for two years before resigning in 2019 for undisclosed reasons.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office detectives are currently in the early stages of their investigation and are actively seeking additional victims. Anyone with information related to this case is urged to contact the office’s non-emergency dispatch line at 831-471-1121.

Author: CrimeDoor

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