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Barstow Principal Arrested on Charges of Having Sex with Student

BARSTOW– (  Principal of Barstow STEM Academy, Mark Lesley Hassell, 35 was arrested on Friday in the 500 block of Melissa Avenue in Barstow. The arrest was made based on the accusations of  having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. The initial report of Hassell having an inappropriate relationship with this student was reported to the Barstow police on Tuesday.

Although, the on-going sexual relationship was considered consensual, according to the student, the female student is still a minor. It is unclear if the student attended the same school that  Hassell was a principal to.

Hassell was arrested on charges of PC 286 Sodomy, PC 288A Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child and PC 261.5 Statutory Rape. Hassell was released on bail on Saturday, January 17th just before 10:00 a.m.

Anyone with information pertaining to the investigation was asked to contact Det. Keith Libby at (760) 255-5134 or the Barstow Police Department at (760) 256-2211. Anonymous tips can be made by calling the WeTip Hotline at (800) 78-CRIME or at

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