A Visalia high school drumline coach has been arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a student, police said.
Visalia police said Derek Nishamoto, 48, had been having a consensual sexual relationship for the past five months with a student he had met when he was working at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia. Police said he has not been employed by the Visalia Unified School District this school year.
Police learned of the alleged relationship Saturday morning. Nishamoto was arrested Saturday afternoon and booked into the Tulare County Jail on suspicion of numerous sexual assault charges, police said.
Tamara Ravalin, Visalia Unified’s assistant superintendent for human resources, said Nishamoto was a paid volunteer drumline coach who had worked at Mt. Whitney High School from November 2010 until March. He returned for a week in July during band camp, she said.
She said the district learned of Nishamoto’s arrest Saturday when police alerted district staff.
“The physical and emotional safety of our students is our number one priority and we are watchful for any type of behavior or conduct that is inappropriate,” she said in an emailed statement. “The District continues to assess and revise policies and procedures to ensure a safe learning environment for of all of our students.”