INDIO (CBSLA) – A 35-year-old basketball coach in the Coachella Valley that guided the Shadow Hills High School boys’ basketball team to a Southern Section Championship in 2020 was arrested Thursday on suspicion of raping a teenage girl he coached.

Booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio, Ryan Leron Towner is being held on suspicion of rape of a minor by force or fear of bodily injury, as well as oral copulation of a minor. Towner’s bail has been set at $55,000.

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The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department initiated an investigation into the 35-year-old after learning of allegations that the teen was assaulted between August 2017 and July 2018.

Joshua Reinbolz, an investigator with the Sheriff’s Department, said that Towner was the head coach of a travel basketball team that the then 16-year-old girl played on. No additional details of the alleged crime were provided.

Jail records show that Towner was near Jefferson Street and Fred Waring Drive in Indio Thursday morning.

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As of Thursday afternoon, court records show that the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has yet to charge Towner.

Tower coached the Shadow Hills boys’ team from 2018 through most of the 2021 season. The Knights won the Division 3-A championship in 2020.

Tower did not coach the team for its final 10 games this season and was fired by the Indio school Tuesday afternoon.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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