Ex-girls basketball coach to be arraigned on sex charge

MURRIETA – A former Menifee high school girls’ basketball coach accused of engaging in sex acts with a student is slated to be arraigned on felony and misdemeanor charges.

Lauren Cecil Matheney, 23, of Perris was arrested in January following an investigation into her alleged relationship with a teenage girl.

Matheney is charged with felony oral copulation of a minor and misdemeanor child annoyance. She’s free on a $25,000 bond. Her arraignment is set for March 26 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

Matheney worked as the junior varsity girls basketball coach at Paloma Valley High School from August 2013 to Jan. 29.

She was terminated soon after officials at the Perris Union High School District learned she was the subject of a criminal investigation, according to school district Superintendent Jonathan Greenberg.

According to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad, on the night of Jan. 22, a patrol officer was checking a suspicious vehicle parked near Keller and Menifee roads when he came upon Matheney and a 15-year-old girl. Conrad did not disclose what Matheney and the girl, identified in court documents only as ”A.H.,” were doing in the car.

Matheney was permitted to leave, but detectives were notified and initiated an investigation, according to Conrad.

”It became apparent the relationship between Ms. Matheney and the minor was inappropriate and criminal in nature,” the lieutenant said.

Following a weeklong investigation, Matheney was arrested but quickly posted bail and was released from the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

Greenberg told City News Service that the defendant was a 2008 graduate of Paloma Valley High and underwent a background check before being hired last summer.

According to the superintendent, Matheney coached about 15 players and was assigned exclusively to the athletics department.

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