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L.A. high school dean charged with possession, distribution of child porn

February 11, 2011 |  7:07 am

Ratcliff
The dean at an L.A. prep high school was charged with possession and Internet distribution of child pornography, prosecutor said.

Brad Ratcliff, 53, a successful veteran prep football coach and currently a dean at West Adams Preparatory High School in the Pico-Union district, is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 25 and faces up to three years in prison if convicted, according to a statement by prosecutors.

He 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.”

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.

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-- Howard Blume

Photo: Football coach Brad Ratliff, right, instructs fullback German Perez during practice at Noth Hollywood High on Sept. 18, 2002. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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