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Former CHS football star facing second sexual assault charge

A former Claremont High School football star convicted of statutory rape is heading back to court next week after allegations of further rape offenses have surfaced in Claremont within the past year.

The Claremont Police Department arrested Tyler Singleton in late April 2012 on 2 new suspected counts of unlawful sex, this time including rape by use of intoxicants. He is currently about one year into a 5-year probation for a previous statutory rape offense that had him sentenced to 180 days in jail in 2010. Mr. Singleton had pleaded no contest to the 2010 charges.

Mr. Singleton, a Pomona resident, first made news in Claremont as the former starting running back for the CHS football team. Transferring to CHS midway through his freshman year, Mr. Singleton became the leading rusher in the Baseline League during the 2008-09 season and was twice named to the All-Baseline League. However, he was barred from CHS in April 2010 as a result of his plea bargain.

After investigation by the Claremont Police Department, the District Attorney's Office of Los Angeles County filed 2 criminal counts of unlawful sex against Mr. Singleton in March 2010.

Two fellow CHS students brought the charges forward, claiming rape and unlawful sex with a minor. A 14-year-old female initially came forward, accusing Mr. Singleton of raping her in a bathroom at Cahuilla Park, located just north of the high school.

According to the victim’s statement, she had agreed to enter the bathroom where they began kissing. She said she resisted further advances, but Mr. Singleton forced himself upon her.

A 15-year-old female student came forward later that day also claiming an inappropriate sexual encounter with Mr. Singleton. He initially denied both allegations, claiming sexual activity was “consensual”, according to Claremont Police Sergeant Robert Rauchfuss in a COURIER article published in February 2010.

During the sentencing hearing, Mr. Singleton’s mother Rita Singleton addressed the court, saying her son “leads a positive and productive life.” He has volunteered at nursing homes and has done other community service and is active in his church, she said.

“This incident has caused him and the family much pain and suffering, and the punishment you are seeking for him is not commensurate with the overall circumstances,” Ms. Singleton said.

Mr. Singleton declined to give a statement during the hearing, but the 14-year-old victim’s mother claimed there were more victims out there.

“I don’t think justice was served today,” she said after the June 2010 hearing. Mr. Singleton was not required to register as a sex offender. “He should have been charged with forcible rape.”

Still on probation for those charges, Mr. Singleton has once again found himself in difficult circumstances. On September 11, 2011, an 18-year-old female resident of Claremont reported a sexual assault to the Claremont Police Department.

The victim claimed Mr. Singleton was the perpetrator of the assault, which allegedly involved intoxicants. Police declined to state what intoxicant was used in this case. Claremont police conducted a preliminary investigation, which included gathering evidentiary items, a medical examination and a sexual assault kit.

“During that exam, DNA was recovered and forwarded to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab,” said Claremont Police Detective James Hughes.

Claremont police were notified of the lab results at the end of March. The findings positively matched the DNA to that of Mr. Singleton, who was located at his residence in Pomona and called in to the Claremont Police Department for questioning. He denied the sexual assault charges.

“He acknowledged knowing the victim, but denied the sexual assault or any kind of sexual experience with her,” Det. Hughes said.

After being told of the DNA evidence, Mr. Singleton continued to deny any involvement, according to Det. Hughes. As a result of the evidence coupled with his denial, Mr. Singleton was arrested for rape on April 26. The counts were filed through the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Mr. Singleton is currently being held at the Los Angeles County jail as he awaits court proceedings. An arraignment for Mr. Singleton is set for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20 at Pomona Superior Court, Department F.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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