Offices of Middle College High School. Photo by Lesly Guzman
A Santa Ana College student was arrested Monday, Sept. 23 and booked on multiple sexual assault charges stemming from a Valentine’s Day interaction with a Middle College High School student.
Kenji Kina, 20, admitted to “engaging in sex acts” with the unidentified 14-year-old victim, who he was aware was 14, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. The incident was first reported to Santa Ana Police Department in July.
“Once the detectives working with college campus Safety got the suspect identified, a warrant was issued for his arrest,” Bertagna said. “He was arrested, booked, and did bail out of jail”. Bertangna also confirmed that the District Attorney has filed charges, though according to the Orange County court website, no court date is currently scheduled.
“This is an ongoing investigation, so we are unable to provide details,” said SAC Public Information Officer Brin Wall. “However, we take this matter very seriously and as a sexual misconduct report, it is being reviewed by the District’s Title IX administrator in accordance with administrative regulations.” Rancho Santiago Community College District recently appointed title IX administrator Jean Estevez, has not returned requests for comment.
A now-deleted LinkedIn profile belonging to an individual of the same name as the suspect claimed to be a history major at SAC with interest in the WWII era. History Department faculty did not return requests for comment, but students who said Kina was in their math class reported that he has not attended since the week before his arrest.
Kina first met the victim on campus in February. On the morning of Feb. 14, he allegedly told the unidentified 14-year-old female that he wanted to show her a “cool place” and took her to a secluded stairwell, Bertagna told reporters. Once there, Bertagna said, “Kina began ‘making out’ with the victim who said she was overcome with fear.” After that, “Kina sexually assaulted the victim.”
The California Penal Code 243.4 defines sexual battery (assault) as “touch[ing] an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.”
MCHS is a Santa Ana Unified School District campus located on the southwest corner of SAC’s main campus. Students at the high school are dual-enrolled at SAC and take online and in-person classes. For this reason, SAC has many safety measures to avoid repeat occurrences.
“We have armed officers here [who] patrol in SUV and golf carts, walk the campus and ride bikes,” said Lieutenant Scott Baker of campus security. “We’re replacing our call boxes with the blue security phones that are easier to see.”
The district’s 2019 annual crime report shows no previous instances of sexual assault on or around the Santa Ana College campus in the last three years. Campus Safety conducts safety seminars every semester. Any group wanting to request self-defense or rape-prevention classes can contact Campus Safety at 714-564-6330.
Students may report any incidents through the LiveSafe app, downloadable through the App Store or Google Play.