Former Toppenish Teacher Arrested in California
A former teacher at Toppenish High School, wanted on an arrest warrant from Yakima County has been arrested in California. 40-year-old Bertha Cerna was jailed in Orange County California on Sunday. She remains jailed Today but could soon be back in Yakima.
Cerna is wanted on several different charges in Yakima County
In the warrant from the Yakima County Prosecutors Office Cerna is charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor and two counts of furnishing liquor to minors. The warrant calls for a bail of $50,000. Officials from the Yakima County Sheriff's Office say Cerna and her Husband John Cerna were fired from the Toppenish School District in January after an investigation found the couple gave alcohol to a student among other allegations. The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office began an additional investigation in the case after the Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office requested the action in January 2022.
Tuesday's court appearance will begin a process of transferring her back to Yakima
Her next court appearance on the bench warrant is set for Tuesday in Orange County. Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says "The court will advise her of the process and her rights regarding potential extradition. If she does not waive extradition, the prosecutors office will begin the process obtaining a Governor’s Warrant to return her to Yakima. She will have an attorney appointed to assist her through this process.Brusic says "if she does waive extradition, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office will make travel arrangements to go down and bring her back. YCSO and the Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office will share in those expenses."
So far no charges have been filed against John Cerna.