Ojai’s Thacher School trustee named in college admissions scandal

Douglas Hodge, board trustee of the Ojai-based Thacher School, has been charged as part of the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal that has seen a slew of wealthy celebrities and power brokers accused.

The scandal began when the FBI announced that an investigation into college admissions fraud had found that 750 individuals were accused of paying bribes to get their children into top-rated universities.

The Thacher School is a private institution considered an elite boarding school.

Hodge, a resident of Laguna Beach, had been a trustee since 2011. He is accused of spending $500,000 for his two children to be accepted at the University of Southern California and has been charged with “conspiracy to commit mail fraud.”

On Friday, March 15, the Thacher School Board of Trustees asked for Hodge’s resignation, and Hodge complied.

LA Rams “get-back” coach charged with sexual battery

A Los Angeles Rams member of the coaching staff who became known for his designation as a “get-back coach” during the 2018 season has been charged with sexual battery stemming from an incident in Moorpark.

Ted Rath was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery on Jan. 15 and subsequently posted a $5,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in June of 2018 and Rath pleaded not guilty.

Rath was the subject of a video describing his technique of pulling Rams’ Coach Sean McVay back and away from the field of play during games, which allowed him to focus on the play rather than worry about colliding with a referee. In January, as the Rams made the NFL playoff run, the team issued a statement that Rath was on leave without going into further detail.

Following his arrest, the Rams released a statement from the team’s headquarters in Thousand Oaks.

“We are aware of the charges filed against Ted Rath. We take these allegations very seriously. Once the charges were filed, we decided Ted would take a leave of absence from the team as this matter works its way through the justice system.”

If convicted, Rath faces a maximum of one year and six months in jail and would be required to register as a sex offender. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 16.

Wave of theft hits Thousand Oaks supermarkets

As you step away from your cart to pluck an eight-pack of La Croix from the shelf, beware: Criminals are watching your unattended personal items.

The Thousand Oaks Police Department has warned area shoppers of an uptick in thievery taking place in city grocery stores. Since the beginning of the year, the Department says that thieves have begun working in tandem to distract shoppers. One thief will create a distraction while the other rifles through a shopper’s personal belongings, while at other times, a thief will simply lie in wait until an unsuspecting shopper steps away before pouncing.

To curb the threat, the Department is asking residents to keep personal items close, such as wearing a purse over the shoulder or carrying it at all times, and to never leave a purse or other items unattended.

To report suspicious activity, call the Thousand Oaks Police Department at 805-654-9511 or 911.