By Leon Worden/SCVNEWS.com
A former three-term College of the Canyons board member faces charges of soliciting sex from a 13-year-old girl over Craigslist.
Ernest L. “Ernie” Tichenor Jr., who served as a Santa Clarita Community College District trustee from 1997 to 2009, is scheduled to appear in the Circuit Court for Loudoun County, Va., on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing that will determine whether the evidence against him is strong enough to bind him over for trial.
The formal charge is soliciting a minor under age 15 over the Internet, an official said.
Tichenor, 55, who has said he works for the Internal Revenue Service, moved to the Washington, D.C., area shortly before his last four-year COC board term ended in November 2009. He now lives in Fairfax County, Va., which neighbors Loudoun County where the alleged victim lives.
Kraig Troxell, public information officer for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, said the victim’s mother contacted the authorities after finding “inappropriate” e-mail messages from Tichenor to her daughter.
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Tichenor allegedly used the “Personals” section of the Craiglist website to create advertisements seeking students or college girls, Troxell said.
The spokesman confirmed that a court affidavit accused Tichenor of creating Craigslist advertisements reading, “Dominant handsome professor for naughty young student” and “College girl in need of $$$$$.”
“Once he was identified, one of the members of our sex crimes unit took on the case,” Troxell said.
Sheriff’s officials served a search warrant at Tichenor’s home, seizing computers and files.
Tichenor was arrested Aug. 15 and released two days later on a $5,000 secured bond, Troxell said.
He said he was not aware of other victims coming forward.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials could not immediately say Monday whether any similar allegations had been made against Tichenor while he lived in Valencia.