A former physical education teacher and coach from a Christian private school in Tuolumne turned herself in to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning on suspicion she sexually abused students in the 1990s.
Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrea Benson said the allegations involved multiple victims who were students and athletes. The Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into the sexual abuse claims after a confidential victim disclosed information to the agency, stated a Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office press release.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who filed the charges, said he could not comment on the victim’s relationship with the former teacher.
According to the District Attorney’s Office press release, the alleged sexual abuse took place in multiple locations in Tuolumne County as well as in Stanislaus County between 1995 and 1997. The victim was a student at Mother Lode Christian School at the time they were abused.
The suspect was identified as Mona McGrady, 61, of Sonora.
Benson said McGrady turned herself into the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
McGrady’s bail was set at $100,000, and she bonded out on Tuesday, Benson said.
McGrady was charged on suspicion of 13 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child 14 or 15 years old and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object of a person under 18 years of age.
Hovatter indicated that the alleged sexual abuse was beyond a statute of limitations, but he cited Penal Code section 803(f) to validate the charges
The code allows for charges to be filed within one year of when a victim brings information to the agency. Other requirements include independent corroborating evidence.
The Sheriff’s Office press release said the investigation took place over a six-month period.
According to Union Democrat records, McGrady was cited as Mother Lode Christian School’s physical education teacher in 1993.
In 1994, she is cited as a science teacher at an unspecified school and as a married mother of three.
In 1997, she is identified multiple times as a girl’s basketball coach.
According to the Sheriff’s Office press release, McGrady resigned from the school almost two decades ago.
Benson she did not have information immediately available as to how long McGrady was employed at the school and for what years.
Ken Mitchell, president of the Mother Lode Christian School Board of Trustees, and Principal Rachel Talavera did not return calls for comment.
The District Attorney’s Office press release stated McGrady faces up to 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted on all charges.