(Updated with Santa Barbara Police press release Thursday 2pm, Updated with school district statement, Friday 10am)
Santa Barbara Police have arrested two men in Mammoth Lakes on allegations of illegal sexual activities with a 14-year-old Santa Barbara area girl. Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte confirmed to Sierra Wave that detectives from his department were in Mammoth Lakes and had made arrests. The Sergeant issued this press release:
“On Wednesday, January 4, 2012, the Santa Barbara Police Department with the assistance of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department served arrest and search warrants in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The Santa Barbara Police Department sought the assistance of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department following a lengthy investigation into crimes that occurred in both Santa Barbara and Mammoth Lakes.
“Two Mammoth Lakes residents, Andrew Bourne, age 46 and Joseph Walker, age 48 were arrested. Walker was arrested and booked for 6 counts
of 288.3 PC, illegal communication with a minor to facilitate sexual activity and 1 count of 288 (c)(1) PC, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Bourne was arrested and booked for 8 counts of 288.3 PC, illegal communication with a minor to facilitate sexual activity. Both Bourne and Walker were booked at Mono County Jail and their bail was set at $1 million each. Bourne and Walker waived extradition and will be transported to Santa Barbara and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.
“The investigation began in September of 2011 when suspicious emails sent to a teenage female were discovered and reported to the police. This lead to the recovering of over 1000 emails which were used to obtain the arrest and search warrants in this case.”
Joseph Walker is a Mammoth Lakes businessman and longtime resident. Walker co-founded the Looney Bean and deals in real estate. Dr. Andrew Bourne is head of vascular surgery at Mammoth Hospital and currently the Chief of the Medical Staff. Dr. Bourne also sits on the Mammoth School Board. Santa Barbara news sources said that Bourne and Walker and the victim’s family were known to one another.
Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson met with the Santa Barbara officers and Mono District Attorney George Booth in Booth’s Mammoth office Thursday for a briefing. Chief Watson said the Mono DA is involved because the two men arrested are residents of Mammoth Lakes.
We contacted the office of Mammoth Hospital CEO Gary Boyd for comment. Hospital Community Relations Director Lori Ciccarelli issued this statement:
“Mammoth Hospital was saddened to learn of the charges and the arrest of its contracted physician, Dr. Andrew Bourne. Our thoughts go out to the alleged victim, all families involved, and to our staff and community at large. All efforts are being made to provide on-going surgical coverage. While we cannot comment on these allegations, we will continue to provide support and medical care to our community and visitors.”
Mammoth School Superintendent Rich Boccia had emailed school staff about the arrests. In it he says that he would ask for the county crisis team to help all at the school sites deal with this issue. The school district released the following statement Thursday evening:
“We are shocked by the recent situation in our community. This news is devastating to the entire Mammoth Lakes community, and as we come to grips with these allegations, the superintendent is asking that we all focus all of our attention on the students and staff. The investigation is clearly the responsibility of law enforcement; maintaining uninterrupted service to our students is the responsibility of our District, and that is where we are trying to focus our energy. These allegations can shatter a person’s confidence in leadership, so our goal right now is to help this community continue to believe in our leadership and our commitment to the children of Mammoth Lakes.”