Matters Involving Napa High School Students

WE ARE NAPA COUNTY

District Attorney's OfficeAllison Haley, District Attorney

Allison Haley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON  MAY  26, 2017

Contact(s):
Paul Gero
Assistant District Attorney
(707) 253-4211
Paul.Gero@countyofnapa.org
District Attorney


931 Parkway Mall
Napa, California 94558

Allison Haley
District Attorney

Matters Involving Napa High School Students


Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley announced today:

On February 6, 2017, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office received an initial request for review of criminal charges by the Napa Police Department for one violation of Penal Code Section 11166(a) (mandated reporter who fails to report possible child abuse), a misdemeanor, on teacher/football coach Gerald Harris at Napa High School. At the same time, several juvenile petitions were referred to the Napa County District Attorney’s Office for the filing of charges that arose out of alleged “hazing incidents” that occurred at Napa High School in 2015-2016. On March 9, 2017, the Napa Police Department submitted their final report.

Our office reviewed several hundred pages in police reports, conducted further law enforcement investigation and offered to meet with all of the student athletes identified as victims by the Napa Police Department and their parents. After a thorough review of the evidence, our office has made a determination that we cannot charge Coach Gerald Harris with any crime. In our professional judgment, the alleged violation cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law at this time and we are therefore ethically prohibited from filing any criminal charges.

With regard to the seventeen juveniles that were referred to our office for prosecution, we initially filed petitions (criminal charges) on six juveniles for their alleged criminal actions. The petitions were filed in Napa County Juvenile Court today. The eleven remaining juvenile cases are under continuing investigation. Juvenile matters are confidential. We are prohibited from disseminating any information regarding juvenile proceedings under Welfare and Institutions Code section 827 and rule 5.530 of the Rules of Court. Therefore, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office will not be releasing any additional information now or in the future absent a juvenile court order permitting such disclosure.

Although Napa High School and the Napa Valley Unified School District have also investigated these incidents, their actions in relation to their students have no bearing on our decision making and are a completely separate and distinct process. The District Attorney’s Office’s mission to represent the people of Napa County is clear and unambiguous: We apply the law and make decisions about criminal charges based solely on the facts and the law — not on emotion, anger, sympathy or external pressure of any kind. At the forefront of any criminal prosecution is the restoration of and compassion for victims of crime.

Rev 8/20/2015

Any questions regarding this case may be directed to Assistant District Attorney Paul Gero.


The Board of Supervisors and staff of Napa County are dedicated to preserving and sustaining Napa County for present and future generations as a community with generous open space, a thriving agricultural industry and a quality human and natural environment.

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