High school dean arrested in child pornography investigation
A West Adams Preparatory High School official is being investigated for child pornography allegations, Los Angeles police confirmed Thursday.
Brad Ratcliff, 53, a successful veteran prep football coach and currently a dean at West Adams Prep in Pico-Union, was arrested Feb. 2 at his home, said Officer Norma Eisenman, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
A search of his premises revealed that he was “in possession of numerous child pornography images and videos containing male victims,” Eisenman said. She added that there is no evidence that the images or videos “are of current or former students.”
At this time, Ratcliff has not been charged in connection with the case, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Ratcliff presided in recent years over a strong football program, including teams that were undefeated in the conference. As a dean, he handled discipline and safety issues. Ratcliff also has served as an executive officer of the Los Angeles Football Coaches Assn.
West Adams Prep is under the management of a nonprofit called MLA Partner Schools, which selects employees, who are then formally hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Upon learning of the arrest, MLA placed Ratcliff “on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” said Mike McGalliard, MLA’s chief executive. “As required by law, all employees are cleared through the California Department of Justice before working on a school campus.”
L.A. Unified issued a similar statement. Neither MLA nor L.A. Unified was aware of an investigation until the arrest was made, said L.A. Unified spokesman Robert Alaniz.
Ratcliff was released on the day of his arrest on $20,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment.
-- Howard Blume