The Coast News Group
Rancho Santa Fe swim instructor, 19, charged with child sexual abuse
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Ex-driving instructor jailed for allegedly molesting students

ESCONDIDO — An Escondido man was arrested today for allegedly molesting young aspiring motorists and secretly creating indecent videos of them while employed as a driving instructor.

Richard Joseph Banks, 50, was taken into custody in Escondido on Thursday on suspicion of child abuse and molestation, sexual battery, possession of child pornography, production of child pornography, and installation and use of a surreptitious recording device, according to the San Diego Police Department.

“The assaults happened during … driving lessons and while the instructor secretly recorded his young victims. … Most of these students were teenage girls under the age of 18,” SDPD Capt. Mike Holden alleged.

At the time of the purported offenses, Banks was an instructor with El Cajon-based American Driving School, according to San Diego police, who are involved in the case because one of the alleged crimes occurred within their jurisdiction, Holden said.

“While investigating these allegations, detectives learned Banks (allegedly) was using secret cameras hidden in the instructional car to record his students’ private areas during lessons,” the police captain said.

Banks, who faces 32 felony and misdemeanor charges in the case, is no longer employed as a driving instructor, according to Holden.

The suspect was being held at Vista Detention Facility without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

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