Allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls have dogged Delano High School counselor Bobby-Scott Campos Perigo — who resigned Friday — for more than eight years.
This time around, he admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old student before being arrested in March.
It wasn’t his first time in a police interrogation room. He was accused of sex acts with one minor — and admitted to such behavior with another — in 2009.
Details about those previous allegations as well as information that a co-worker may have colluded with him in this most recent incident raise troubling questions about how a possible sexual predator could so easily attain a position of authority over children.
The Kern County District Attorney’s office has charged Perigo with three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of oral copulation with a minor. He has pleaded not guilty.
Police reports show a pattern of Perigo being accused of sexual misconduct with minors as a volunteer coach eight years ago, later as a California Highway Patrol cadet and now as a school counselor.
Neither Perigo nor his attorney responded to phone calls requesting comment for this story. Until Friday, he was on paid administrative leave from his job.
Also not talking is Perigo’s mother, Anna Perigo, who has held a seat on the Delano Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees since 2008. Her position begs the questions of whether she knew about her son’s history of alleged sexual misconduct at his time of hire in 2010 and alerted anyone to it.
Anna Perigo has not responded to repeated phone calls requesting comment.
As for the district, spokesman Tom DeLapp said no history of past investigations came up during a standard background check and fingerprint scan conducted before he was hired for a full-time position in 2010 because Perigo was never arrested.
His qualifications as a school bus driver were ample experience for Perigo’s current position, DeLapp said.
“As a bus driver, you definitely have to worry about student conduct,” DeLapp said. “You have to maintain order on your bus.”
DeLapp didn’t know whether Perigo had disclosed before being hired that he’d briefly worked for the CHP. Either way, Delano officials never called the CHP as a reference, DeLapp said. That wasn’t relevant work experience for bus driving, he said.
If they had called, they might have found out that Perigo was there for fewer than 12 days before police began investigating him for accusations of alleged sexual misconduct with minors.
THE CHP-ERA ALLEGATION
The tip shot out of the Delano Police Department fax machine Aug. 19, 2009, police reports say. Officers from the CHP Newhall Area Division forwarded the handwritten note implicating one of their new recruits, Perigo, in “lewd and lascivious acts” with a couple of teenage girls from Delano.
It provided their names but was signed anonymous. Perigo’s supervising sergeant sat in on the interviews.
The first girl interviewed, a 17-year-old who Perigo said looked 19, painted a picture of a man who mistreated women and had a history of pursuing younger girls. She didn't have a relationship with Perigo, she said. In fact, they didn't get along at all. She called him a “pig” when interacting with women and said she saw him hit on girls younger than she.
One of them was her 16-year-old friend, a cheerleader, who she said had a “thing” for Perigo, and that those two had sex.
That Delano High School cheerleader told police she lost her virginity to Perigo, then a 22-year-old volunteer baseball coach.
Perigo texted, asking her to come over, she told police. It was a short walk to his 17th Avenue home. It was so close to the high school that they could hear bells ring. She told him they wouldn't have sex. She was only a freshman.
But eventually, Perigo slipped on a condom from a basket he kept beneath his bed, the cheerleader told police. The sex stopped when his younger brother came home, she said. She pulled on her clothes afterward and went home to shower.
They had sex twice more after that, the cheerleader said. Once before a high school volleyball game and again on a day when Perigo was taking friends out for rides on his motorcycle. It was dusk by the time it was the cheerleader's turn. He rode her to a dirt lot on the outskirts of town. He didn't use a condom.
The cheerleader knew it wasn’t right being with a man six years older than she. He told her it was OK. Nobody would find out, she recalled him saying.
Perigo told police a different story, according to the reports.
Perigo said he only kissed the cheerleader on the cheek, despite what he described as relentless advances on her part.
He bought a “sweet pea” candle from her as part of a fundraising campaign for her cheer squad. After that, she would text him about how she wanted to lose her virginity to him and send him photos of herself in her bra, Perigo said.
Perigo told officers that he wanted to have sex with her but chose not to because she was underage. He knew it was wrong, he said.
That didn’t stop Perigo from fooling around with the 17-year-old friend, though, he admitted to police, reports say.
In one instance, Perigo drove her to the Delano Adult School on the Fourth of July in 2009, he said. She snuck out of her room and he picked her up in an alley behind her parents' house at about 2 a.m. Perigo told police that the girl “teased” him and that he “gave in.”
Perigo fondled and kissed her as she stripped off her clothes, revealing a Winnie the Pooh tattoo on her hip, he said. Perigo stopped, he said, when he realized he didn't have a condom and refused to have sex with her. That's when she pulled on her clothes and gave Perigo “the silent treatment.”
Perigo said this all happened after he drunkenly kissed her at an earlier date.
She denied any of that ever happened, but did confirm to detectives that she had the Winnie the Pooh tattoo.
After a weeks-long investigation, the cheerleader who said she carried on a sexual relationship with Perigo for months refused to undergo a forensics exam, and the case never made it to court.
Perigo resigned from the CHP Aug. 24, 2009, a little more than two weeks after graduating from the academy and just five days after police launched an investigation into his background, a CHP personnel official confirmed.
Five months later, Delano High School officials welcomed Perigo back to work.
Anna Perigo was on the high school district board at the time. Any perceived nepotism could come as a result of the dynamics of a small town, DeLapp said.
“One of the things about small valley towns is that the workforce pool is largely drawn from people that are either close to the community or within the community. We can’t go too far for not having people either connected through marriage or birth or acquaintances and friendships,” DeLapp said of Delano, which has a population of about 50,000.
But Perigo doesn’t live in Delano. He maintains a residence in Fresno and commutes roughly 160 miles each day for a job that pays $25.05 an hour.
THE MOST RECENT CASE
She was a troubled 17-year old, and he was a high school counselor.
By the time detectives questioned Perigo last month about his relationship with the Delano High School senior, he knew the intimate details of her life, reports say. It was his job.
As a student affairs specialist, his job included disciplining students, but also advising them while they were most vulnerable.
He knew, for instance, that she had broken up with her girlfriend of three years a couple months before they met. That she was staying out late — her father told officers that it was Perigo's white Acura they saw pick up their daughter in the evenings, returning sometimes at sunrise, according to the reports.
He reported it to detectives, showing them a Twitter conversation between his daughter and a man named “Johnny B,” detailing her affair with “Bobby-Scott.”
She worked as a student aide in the high school office, where she got to know the 28-year-old student affairs specialist. She sought his help, confiding her problems in a man she came to love, she told officers.
She knew he felt the same way. She could feel it in the way he kissed her, the way he held her hand and hugged her, according to the reports.
He called her “babe,” the same endearing term he used for his wife. She knew it was wrong — being with a married man 11 years older than she — but he would quell those worries when he spoke about their future, she told police. He was locked in an unhappy marriage, but she could set him free.
Perigo wouldn’t hide those things from detectives, admitting to having unprotected sex with her three or four times, according to the reports. He described himself to police as a newlywed going through a rough patch and found some solace in a 17-year-old girl who understood him. He married his wife in November 2015.
THE MANDATED REPORTER
All the while, Juan Brito, another student affairs specialist who worked alongside Perigo, knew about his affair, police suspect.
But instead of stopping the relationship between Perigo and the office aide or reporting it to police, he encouraged it, according to reports.
Brito did not return calls requesting comment.
He carried on personal relationships with the office aide outside of school, and spoke with her regularly on Twitter under the handle “Johnny B,” reports say.
He was planning a beach trip and asked the girl to find a friend for him, and then attempted to cover up Perigo’s relationship when detectives began their investigation, according to DPD reports.
“We need to get our story straight about this and be on the same page,” the girl said Brito told her when police began digging around.
Perigo told police that Brito, his 30-year-old co-worker, “started the whole thing.”
Brito hinted to the girl that Perigo liked her, Perigo said.
But Brito told police that it started in jest. When talking with the office aide, he’d jokingly refer to Perigo as her “novio,” he told police. He also said it was a joke when he asked that girl to bring one of her 17-year-old friends along to the beach for him. That trip, he told police, was never going to happen.
Brito was arrested on suspicion of concealing or destroying evidence, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, dissuading a witness, obstruction and conspiracy to commit a crime. He is out of custody now and has not been charged, Kern County District Attorney’s office officials said.
Despite pleading not guilty March 28 to four felony sex charges in the most recent case, Perigo confessed to police a day after detectives launched an investigation into his past, reports show.
Perigo and his wife were having problems, he said. The 17-year-old office aide gave him some attention and offered an escape —- but Perigo knew that was a mistake, calling it an “unfortunate situation” that he “took complete advantage of.”
The girl knew Perigo, a newlywed, was having problems at home, he said, and they talked about those problems. He questioned whether he ever should have gotten married. He and his wife wanted different things.
But this teenager thought the same way he did, and liked the same things, Perigo said.
“Perigo said he caught feelings for her,” the report states.
He would pick her up in his car, he said, and take her out to an orchard near the Kern County line known as the “cuts,” slang for the rural outskirts of Delano.
The girl said that was where they first became physical.
Eight years ago, Perigo took the cheerleader somewhere similar, according to the police reports. The reports note similarities between the two cases; the girls were about the same age and driven to secluded parts of the county before Perigo seduced them and took their virginities.
And police linked the cases during their recent investigation.
During a phone call monitored by detectives last month, the 17-year-old girl asked Perigo about his past — about the other underage girls. How many times have you done this without being caught, she asked.
Perigo chuckled and responded: Are you serious?