SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A jailhouse teacher accused of helping the three escaped inmates from Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana a week ago has been booked on suspicion of being an accessory to a felony, authorities said Friday.
Nooshafarin Ravaghi, 44, of Lake Forest, is scheduled to appear in court Monday. She is ineligible for bail, said Capt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.READ MORE: Storm Not Enough To Make A Dent In California's Drought, Expert Says
Ravaghi, who works for the Rancho Santiago Community College District, has been teaching English-As-A-Second-Language or ESL classes at the jail since July 2015, according to Hallock.
Ravaghi is also an associate faculty member at Saddleback College, according to the Mission Viejo college’s website. She also has her own website called The Noosha Collection.
The spokesman said one of the escaped inmates, Hossein Nayeri, 37, of Newport Beach, took her class at the Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana and developed a relationship with Ravaghi, who grew up in Tehran, Iran.
Hallock said the two exchanged letters of a personal nature. But “We don’t have any information to determine that in fact they were romantic. But we do know that it was much closer and much more personal than it should have been.”
So personal that police said Ravaghi gave Nayeri “critical planning tools” that helped the three inmates prepare for their escape, including Google maps of the entire jail complex.
Capt. Hallock said Ravaghi should have known better because she was required to take a course to prepare her for inmates trying to take advantage of her. “It discusses different things like inmate rules. It discusses the importance of not providing personal information to inmates and really manipulation techniques that inmates will use on civilian employees,” the captain said.READ MORE: News Conference Wednesday In ‘Rust’ Shooting Death Of Halyna Hutchins
Nayeri, also born in Iran, spent much of his adult life evading police in California. First, it was after a fatal drunk driving accident in 2005. Then in 2012, he escaped to Iran to avoid the brutal torture and kidnapping charges he now faces.
Authorities also released images of a utility van believed to have been stolen by one of the inmates.
The white van was reported stolen at 4:40 p.m. on Jan. 23 by a suspect matching the description of 43-year-old Santa Ana resident Bac Duong. He along with Jonathan Tieu, 20, of Fountain Valley and Nayeri escaped from jail on Jan. 22.
All three are accused of violent crimes, and two of them are believed to be Vietnamese gang members.
A week later on Friday, Duong was arrested after surrendering at a business on N. Harbor Boulevard.
Hallock said investigators believe the escaped inmates stole the van from the South Los Angeles area and may be living out of it in the Fresno or San Jose area.MORE NEWS: Tractor-Trailer Wanted For Hit-And-Run That Killed Woman Walking In South LA
Police said the 2008 white GMC Savana utility van has paper license plates from Felix Chevrolet, with plate number 8U66466. But the plates may have been removed and replaced.