MARYSVILLE -- Marysville Police Chief Aaron Easton has stepped down after accusations of sexual assault.
Easton is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a cadet in February of 2008.
In a statement to investigators, the female cadet says Easton placed his hand on the back of her head, and coerced her to commit a sex act while they were in the front seat of a patrol car working the grave-yard shift. Easton was Yuba County Sheriff's Deputy at the time, and an instructor at Yuba College Police Academy.
The woman accusing him goes on to say, she believes she was kicked out of the academy because of the assault.
"We went over the sexual abuse chapter in class today. It was my job to summarize it all," Yuba College student Kris Lawrence said. "I feel like just, somebody making allegations doesn't necessarily mean that he's guilty."
Student Chiana Patterson thinks someone accused of sexual assault should be put on leave until the investigation is complete.
"I don't think he should still be in the public service. I think he should probably still get his pay because I don't want to see anybody lose their job. Suspend him with pay until the investigation is over," Patterson said.
The city announced Thursday night that Easton was no longer working for the police department.
“While this is an allegation only at this time, it is deeply troubling on a personal level,” the city manager stated in a written statement.
The allegations came to light when Easton's accuser was in the Sacramento County Jail.
She reported the sexual assault as part of a program under the Prevent Prison Rape Act. She was in jail on a charge of driving drunk and injuring a passenger as a result.
Yuba County Prosecutor Pat McGrath told FOX40 that could play a role in the decision whether to charge Easton.
"We're always evaluating the credibility of witnesses and how a jury would evaluate witnesses," McGrath said. "It's common in what we do to weigh what a jury will or won’t believe.”
Easton's accuser told detectives she waited so long to come forward because she didn't think anyone would believe her, but that's something these current Yuba College students say is changing.
"I think right now with everything going on in Hollywood, and all of the allegations that have happened so many years ago are coming out. That #metoo (social media movement)," Lawrence said." Since she did it, I am doing it. I have the courage to do it."
Effective Thursday, Lt. Christian Sachs, a 17-year veteran of the department, will take over the top leadership post in the department as interim police chief.