RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A Moreno Valley school board member accused of turning young girls into prostitutes and attempted murder testified in court Wednesday.
Mike Luis Rios, 43, was ordered to stand trial in August after being charged with 35 felonies including rape, pimping and pandering involving six victims, including two underage girls.
KCAL9′s Greg Mills reports Rios took the stand and admitted that he ran a stripper and massage service out of his house. He also said under oath that he lied repeatedly to the investigator assigned to the case.
But Rios assured the jury that he is now telling the truth, despite being combative under cross examination and even making some off-color remarks.
When asked by the prosecutor about wanting a stripper to live with him and kids – ages 17 and 12 – he replied, “What’s wrong with that? It’s not like she was walkin’ around in her underwears.”
Former Moreno Valley teacher Bill Kalogonis, who taught in the district for 23 years, was among those in attendance at Rios’ trial.
“Some of the things they’ve been talking about have been so off-the-wall for somebody in a position like this that I can’t hardly believe it,” Kalogonis said.
District officials determined they could not legally remove Rios from the school board, and he currently remains a member as he faces the felony charges.
Kalogonis said Rios should have already stepped down on his own accord.
“I think if the man had any honestly and honor and concern for the district what he would be is in order to save the district any further embarrassment go ahead and resign,” he said.
Rios cried during an emotional moment on the stand this morning when he spoke about the pain he felt about his wife learning of his infidelity.
While Rios claimed to know little about the stripper business, he admitted on the stand that his wife had worked as a stripper at a Los Angeles club.
Rios said he is not guilty of the any charges.
The trial goes to jury on Thursday. If convicted, Rios could face 50 years to life in prison.
Rios – who also faces charges of filing false insurance claims, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and influencing testimony by bribe – made an unsuccessful bid for City Council in 2008 before he was elected to the school board in 2010.