Former Cate School teacher, investigated for sexual misconduct here, arrested in Colorado for alleged sexual assault

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This story was originally published by the Montecito Journal and is reproduced here in partnership with Edhat.


By Nick Masuda of the Montecito newspaper

The former Cate School vocal music director, who was dumped by the school in 2020 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, was arrested for sexual assault at a private school in Boulder, Colo. On 29 July 2021.

Da’Jon Tyrik James, 27, was arrested by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office after four female students aged 17 to 19 reported to authorities, saying James had sexually touched them, with incidents beginning in January 2021 in Dawson City. School during school hours, according to the students.

Da’Jon Tyrik James is a former Cate music teacher

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Montecito Journal that James, also a former dorm relative in Cate, is the same man currently under investigation for potential sexual assault on the Carpinteria campus.

Details of the James investigation in Santa Barbara County have not yet been clarified, although they stem from a mandatory report that the sheriff’s office received on April 1, 2021. According to the sheriff’s office, the June 24, 2021, the SBCSO Criminal Investigations Office and District Attorney’s Office investigators served search warrants on the Cate School campus.

“Detectives have identified several sexual assault survivors in this case who are both current and former students of Cate School,” the sheriff’s office said.

In Boulder, James faces two counts of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust and one count of illegal sexual contact.

According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, “four female students revealed they were subjected to inappropriate language, sexually explicit images, prolonged hugs, hugs, inappropriate complements and inappropriate kisses on the forehead “.

It is not clear whether the Dawson School ran a reference check before James was hired, either with Cate or with former employers.

Dawson School told the Montecito Journal he was “unable to comment”.

Although she does not recognize if she had a direct conversation with Dawson School, Cate School offered the Montecito Journal that any potential employer who inquires about the charges against James has been made aware.

“In the matter being investigated by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office involving Da’Jon James, all school protocols were followed when he was hired and with respect to his dismissal six months later, March 3, 2020, “said Avani Shah, Cate Marketing Director. and communications. “His behavior was reported by the school to child protection services, and the school principal and deputy principal informed potential employers of Mr. James’ dismissal and the reasons for it. “

Cate School had addressed James’ dismissal, but had not named the teacher. School principal Ben Williams sent the following note to the families of new students and new students:

“And finally, we are cooperating with an investigation by local law enforcement into allegations of sexual misconduct by a former employee, who worked at Cate School for six months and whose job was laid off. in February 2020. The Cate school had also alerted the child protection services. to the employee’s potential inappropriate conduct over the past year. At the request of the Sheriff’s Department, we do not share the name of the suspect in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing criminal investigation. While this does not directly concern you or your children, we thought you should know it.

According to the Fall 2019 edition of the Cate Bulletin, James has joined “the Cate community as the new director of vocal music and parent of the High House / Lido dorm. The East Coast native received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology from Syracuse University, during which he conducted musicals, performed in opera houses, and conducted various musical ensembles.

“He moved to Los Angeles to continue his education and earned a master’s degree in choral music from the University of Southern California. No stranger to keeping busy, while in Los Angeles, Da’Jon has conducted choirs, lectured at colleges, was a private voice teacher, and worked with various commercial bands and artists at studios in Burbank and Irvine. .

According to Shah, James went through a rigorous screening process in order to land the job at Cate.

“Our hiring policies at Cate are clear and comprehensive. Every potential Cate employee is carefully interviewed, reference checked and must go through a full background check, including fingerprints, before being hired, ”Shah said. “The school does not deviate from or shorten this process under any circumstances. An employee who does not meet school standards and is fired does not receive any recommendation or referral letter from the school. Law enforcement and / or child protection services are informed in accordance with our reporting responsibilities. “

James was being held at the Boulder County Jail.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information relating to the Da’Jon Tyrik James investigation to contact Detective Sergeant Mark Valencia at (805) 681-4150.

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July 1, 2021: Detectives investigate sexual abuse at Cate School


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