Chiawana High School para-educator arrested on rape charges

A Richland man is in custody in Benton County on rape charges in connection with a sexual assault that happened back in September.

According to Richland Police, Mahasse B. Cornileus was arrested Friday, charged with taking indecent liberties with forcible compulsion.

Shane Edinger with the Pasco School District confirmed that the 45-year old suspect is a para-educator at Chiawana High School. According the Chiawana High School website, Cornelius is also an assistant track coach.

“Once he’s released from jail, he will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation,” Edinger said. “The district will be taking action to ensure that Cornileus does not have contact with staff or students when he is released from custody.”

Richland Police say the victim in the case was someone not connected with his job.