handcuffs on a table
MyNewsLA.com photo by Alexander Nguyen

The coach who guided the Shadow Hills High School boys’ basketball team to a Southern Section championship in 2020 was in custody Friday on suspicion of raping a teenage girl he coached.

Ryan Leron Towner, 35, was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio Thursday on suspicion of rape of a minor by force or fear of bodily injury and oral copulation of a minor, with bail set at $55,000.

The investigation dates back to April when investigators began looking into allegations that the teen was sexually assaulted between August 2017 and July 2018, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigator Joshua Reinbolz said Towner coached the then-16-year-old girl on a “travel basketball team” he coached.

Towner was arrested Thursday morning in the area of Jefferson Street and Fred Waring Drive in Indio, jail records show.

Additional information about the circumstances of the alleged crimes was not released.

Towner had not been charged by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office as of Thursday afternoon, according to court records.

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, the Desert Sun reported.

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