An 18-year-old girl who has been carrying on a sexual relationship with a former Delano High School student affairs specialist since she was a minor asked that the court remove a protective order keeping her away from that man.
Her justification? They’re in love.
“I know people say that I’m 18 and the brain isn’t fully developed until age 25, but I’ve seen people who are 25 or older make some pretty bad decisions,” the girl told Judge Marcos Camacho during a preliminary hearing in Kern County Superior Court Wednesday. “I would like to ask that this be dropped. I do love him.”
Camacho denied the girl’s request. It’s the latest development in the case of Bobby Scott Campos Perigo, a 29-year-old former student affairs specialist who has admitted in eight years to having sexual relations with two underage girls. At least two others have accused him of such acts, according to police reports and search warrant returns filed in Kern County Superior Court.
A court date is set next month to continue the preliminary hearing, however David Torres, a defense attorney representing Perigo, said he is entertaining an offer from the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. He wouldn’t discuss terms, but described it as “reasonable under the circumstances.”
“There was a subsequent violation of a criminal protective order and it does have an effect on it, and there may be some incarceration time involved in this case, but the way the negotiations are heading I believe that whatever time is involved is going to be a reasonable time,” Torres said.
Accusations of sex acts with minors have dogged Perigo for years, and aligned at moments when Perigo held positions of authority over children: first as a volunteer baseball coach, then as a California Highway Patrol cadet and finally as a high school student affairs specialist, a job that included disciplining students, but also advising them while most vulnerable.
Perigo has been charged with three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, one felony count of oral copulation with a minor, one felony count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 15 years old, one felony count of contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense, one felony count of exhibiting harmful matter to a minor, and one misdemeanor count of contempt of court.
If the case does make it to trial, Perigo would be tried with his former colleague, Juan Brito.
Brito, another student affairs specialist, has been charged with felony accessory, one misdemeanor count of annoyance of a child, and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Brito knew about Perigo’s illicit relationships, but didn’t report them to police as state law mandates, according to police reports. He has turned down an offer that included felony probation on the charge of accessory after the fact, Torres said.
Perigo broke a court criminal protective order requiring him to stay away from victims in September, when he was found in a parked car in a Delano orchard with a 17-year-old girl while on bail. It’s unclear if she was the same girl who appeared in court Wednesday, or another one of Perigo’s victims.
Camacho ordered that the girl not be identified by name because she was a minor when the sex acts took place. She would not speak to reporters after the hearing, where she was gathered with Perigo’s family, hugging his mother, grandmother and brother.
“Stay strong,” one told another.
Prosecutor John Allen wouldn’t comment on the circumstances afterward, but said it would have been inappropriate to lift the criminal protection order.
Meanwhile, Torres said that the victim coming to the aid of the defendant wouldn’t necessarily make the case easier for defense attorneys if it went to trial.
“This is a country based on the rule of law,” Torres said. “The fact that she has allied with my client doesn’t necessarily have an impact on us at all.”
That’s because Perigo knew the girl was under 18 when he had sex with her, Torres said.