Clement Middle School teacher arrested

By NADIA CENICEROS

Joseph Nardella, a 52-year-old teacher, was been taken into custody for alleged sexual assault on Jan. 14. Nardella is a seventh-grade world history and an eighth-grade US history teacher who has been teaching at Clement Middle School since 1997. He has been the Social Studies Department Chair for the past 15 years and the leader of the schools’ intramural sports program.

An 18-year-old confidential male disclosed that he was sexually assaulted by Nardella from the age of 12 to 17 years. The assault started 5 years ago, when the male was 12 years old. According to the victim, the assaults mostly happen at Nardella’s home and even sometimes at Clement.

Nardella is now being held at Central Detention Center in San Bernardino. He is being held for continuous sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 14. He is being held for a $350,000 bail. Nardella has been placed on administrative leave by the Redlands Unified School District, according to the sheriff’s office.

The booking photo of Joseph Nardella. The booking photo of Nardella had been released because the Sheriff’s department believes that there are more victims. (Courtesy to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

Attorney Morgan Stewart will be representing the victim. 

“We are proud of this young man coming forward and reporting this abuse,” Stewart said in an email sent on Jan. 14. “The arrest is unsurprising given the climate of the cover-up that existed at Clement Middle School.”

This could possibly be related to the other former Clement English teacher Sean Lopez situation. Lopez was accused of assaulting three underage teenage boys from 1999 to 2001. Lopez was found guilty and was sentenced to 74 years in prison.

Other allegations have been made in the past, such as former Citrus Valley High School soccer coach and English teacher Laura Whitehust. It was said that Whitehust would invite male students to her classroom, and would try to do inappropriate activities since 2007. Whitehust was arrested in 2013 and found guilty.

The Redlands Unified School and Clement Middle School homepage website has removed all information about Nardella. If his name is searched up, the page will let you click on a link about Nardella. But, the link says, “This page has moved.” The page turns into error 404. 

Deputy Vanayes Quezada of the Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children will be taking any important information about Nardella or any information about the case.

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