Prison Teacher Arrested for Assisting in California Jailbreak

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Nooshafarin Ravaghi taught English classes at the Santa Ana jail.

Three "very dangerous" inmates who escaped a California prison by rappelling from the roof with bedsheet ropes are still on the run, but officials have tracked down at least one of their accomplices. Forty-four-year-old Nooshafarin Ravaghi was arrested Thursday afternoon and accused of aiding in the escape of Jonathan Tieu, Bac Duong, and Hossein Nayeri, all of whom were in prison either for murder or attempted murder. (Nayeri in particular stood accused of driving some guy into the middle of a desert, chopping off his penis, soaking him in bleach, and setting him on fire.)

Ravaghi taught English As a Second Language classes at the prison. She reportedly developed a friendly relationship with Nayeri, and is charged with giving him Google Maps and information that helped him escape.

Based on the sophisticated nature of the getaway, which involved cutting through steel bars with professional tools and wriggling through feet of plumbing, police told NBC it’s “clear now that there was some assistance on the inside.” Ravaghi denies supplying the convicts with anything besides maps — police can’t even say definitively whether she knew about the planned escape — but investigators told the Los Angeles Times they “absolutely could not rule out” the possibility she provided them with physical tools. 

The three men are thought to be living out of a white GMC van that they stole on Sunday in Los Angeles. The reward for information leading to their recapture has been upped from $50,000 to $200,000.