Crime

Chiawana High assistant coach arrested as part of rape investigation

A Pasco School District assistant coach is in jail as part of an ongoing rape investigation in Richland.

Mahasse B. Cornileus, 45, of Richland, allegedly attacked a woman on the 1300 block of George Washington Way on Sept. 19, Richland police said.

He was arrested Friday and booked into the Benton County jail on an investigative hold for indecent liberties with forcible compulsion. His bail is set at $50,000.

Police said the woman didn’t have any relationship to his job.

Cornileus began working at Chiawana High School as an assistant track coach in 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before coming to Washington he spent a decade working as a fitness and track coach in Georgia.

He became a paraeducator at the school in 2017.

In a statement about the arrest, Pasco School District officials said they understand Cornileus is currently in custody.

“The district will be taking action to ensure that Cornileus does not have contact with staff or students when he is released from custody,” the district said.

Cameron Probert: 509-582-1402; Twitter: @cameroncprobert
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