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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Diablo Valley College Professor Faces Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault Charges


PLEASANT HILL, Calif. – Kyle Lee Whitmore, a 39-year-old tenured communications professor and accomplished track and field coach at Diablo Valley College, was arrested last week on nine felony charges.

The charges allege Whitmore trafficked two women into prostitution and committed sexual assault. 

Whitmore, who appeared in a Contra Costa County court on Tuesday, will be arraigned Sept. 19. He did not enter a plea and is currently being held without bail at the county jail in Martinez.

According to the district attorney’s office, Whitmore faces a total of nine charges, including two counts of human trafficking, two counts of pandering, one count of pimping, and four counts of forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object.

Whitmore, who was hired as an adjunct instructor at DVC in 2014, became a prominent figure in the campus community. He won the 2021-22 California Community College Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year award for Men’s Track and Field.

The DA’s office said Whitmore was taken into custody Sept. 7 following a joint investigation with the county sheriff’s office. According to DVC President Susan Lamb, “Mr. Whitmore was placed immediately on administrative leave” following his arrest.

One of the two victims, a student at DVC, initially spoke to a faculty member, who reported Whitmore’s actions to campus authorities. DVC officials began an internal investigation and quickly contacted the county sheriff’s office for further action. 

“We knew this situation was way beyond our expertise,” Timothy Leong, director of communications and community relations for the Contra Costa Community College District, told The Inquirer on Wednesday. 

“I am really proud of how quickly the district moved to support this student and to take the appropriate action with other law enforcement agencies,” Leong said.

“Once we got information from the student, we moved as quickly as possible. I have to believe that we did the right thing and that we did it in a timely manner,” he added.

The student involved in the case remains unnamed in order to protect her privacy. Leong said that despite the severity of the charges leveled against Whitmore, the district is withholding judgment until officials complete their investigation.  

“We still live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

In response to the allegations and arrest, President Lamb sent an email on Sept. 12 to the student body confirming what had happened and outlining the charges against Whitmore.

“The College is devastated by the seriousness of the allegations,” Lamb wrote. “The safety of our students and staff is our main priority.”

She continued, “We take seriously any accusations of inappropriate behavior by our employees and honor the expectation that our students, staff, and visitors have to be safe when they visit our campuses.”

The arrest sent shockwaves through the DVC community, where Whitmore was a fixture in the athletics department, a respected member of the faculty, and an outlet for students.

“You don’t reach that, or achieve that kind of recognition, if you’ve been doing bad things,” Leong said.

View Comments (9)
About the Contributor
Jag Mishra, Staff Writer

Comments (9)

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  • K

    K.Sep 17, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    “You don’t reach that, or achieve that kind of recognition, if you’ve been doing bad things,” Leong said. This is such an insanely distasteful quote to include in an article like this. The situation is being covered poorly, and as a victim myself, the last thing I would want to read about a criminally charged PREDATOR who is being held WITHOUT BAIL for PIMPING ANDF SEXUAL ASSAULT is any bs about “innocent until proven guilty” (if he was innocent there’d be no evidence worthy of prosecution) or “you don’t get recognized if you do bad things” (newsflash: people that take advantage of others are great at controlling how they’re perceived, it’s how these things fly under the radar). Just awful.

    • A

      Aydın YelkovanSep 26, 2023 at 11:31 am

      I believe it’s an excellent kicker that leaves the reader thinking. It centers the internal conflict a lot of DVC students and staff have been facing—the institutional distrust resulting from this incident. It highlights how the director of communications is ignorant to how people come to power. It shows his opinion, based on the limited information we have, but the journalist did an incredible job if this quote upset you this much!

  • A

    AmSep 17, 2023 at 8:08 am

    When is that embarrassment of a President, Susan Lamb, going to release her typical weak soft toned statement

  • S

    SHFSep 14, 2023 at 11:10 pm

    And r we not going to talk about the fact that this predator is on administrative leave? As in, still getting paid while he sits in jail?? That’s like grounding someone to their room but buying them a whole new gaming set up so they won’t be bored while doing their time! If the DVC faculty truly cared about the safety of their students, they would remove this man or anybody else who uses their status and power to exploit those in a lower position. And the fact that the process for justice to be served is so complicated and inaccessible for so many people is just further enabling those with more power to do more evil and, more times than not, get away with it. And even if they don’t get away with it, they still r getting paid while sitting in time-out.

    Justice for these victims. U r loved, u r valid, and I believe u

    • D

      David TantolonSep 17, 2023 at 7:17 pm

      Clearly you dont read thoroughly but they said in the article that it is still innocent until proven guilty. These are just allegations and accusations for now. They wont be taking any further action until the legal progress is finished which is actually moving pretty swiftly in this case. As his arraignment is set for Tuesdays September 20th. Everything that you have written is stated as if this man has been proven guilty without a court of law. If we start doing that as a society it makes it that much harder for the falsely accused(not saying that he is being falsely accused but Im also not saying he isnt) to recover from such a blow to their reputation. We need to leave this up to due process and if he did commit these trully distateful crimes he should be punished to the full extent of the law.

      • B

        BSep 18, 2023 at 11:26 pm

        I find your reply very unfortunate. I understand going through proper legal steps and this should of course be done. That being said, society is built to be against victims. It is wrong and it is not okay. Society should be built in favor of victims. I 100% agree with SHF. For a teacher to not be fired immediately is extremely wrong. That being said, David: I understand your point, but I think it is important to understand the severity of these crimes and put yourself in the victims shoes for a second and remember that often times victims are even not believed in these situations.

  • M

    Melissa TorresSep 14, 2023 at 9:06 am

    “You don’t reach that, or achieve that kind of recognition, if you’ve been doing bad things,” Leong said.

    Actually! That is how MOST predators are! They are the ones you “never would’ve thought” how sexist of you to say this! Because he’s a man with recognition there’s no way he could be guilty?! How can you say you stand by your students, when you literally just let us know with this comment that you actually stand by this man…

    • A

      Anonymous StudentSep 14, 2023 at 2:42 pm

      I completely agree, what a disgusting thing to say. I am not happy with how the school has handled this incident.

      The article states: “…the district is withholding judgment until officials complete their investigation.
      “We still live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty…”. The victim blaming present in society is clear. I am at a loss for words. This statement contributes to victim-blaming by implying that individuals who come forward as victims might not be entirely trustworthy until an investigation proves their claims. This discourages victims from speaking out and shifts the burden of proof onto them.

      To the victims: I believe you, I stand with you, you are so strong, and I am so sorry.

    • S

      Suzanne JeffcoatsSep 14, 2023 at 9:09 pm

      Agreed!! What a distasteful comment by Mr Leong.