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High School Dance Instructor Arrested For Allegedly Sending Girl, 15, Inappropriate Texts

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SANTA ANA (AP) —  A former dance instructor for the Orange County High School of the Arts has been arrested for allegedly sending sexually suggestive text messages to a 15-year-old student.

City News Service reports 53-year-old John Juul Nielson was taken into custody on a warrant Wednesday at his home in Cerritos.

He was booked for misdemeanor child annoyance, with bail set at $15,000.

Reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, Kristine Lazar caught up to Nielson after he posted bail at the Sana Ana Jail. She asked him about the charges, and walking briskly away he said, “they are wrong.”

She asked if expressed his love for a 15-year-old student, he said, “No. Not a 15-year-old student.” Lazar then said, “Well, how old was she?” Neilson’s reply, “I did not do that to a student.”

A school spokeswoman says Nielson started working at the high school part-time in September 2010 and was fired Jan. 13.

Prosecutors say the married father of three sent numerous text messages to the girl between Oct. 15 and Jan. 11. Nielson is also accused of having “sexually inappropriate conversations” with the student, according to prosecutors.

Lazar reported that the alleged text messages increased in frequency after the girl asked him to stop.

He could face up to a year in jail if convicted.

Lazar also reported that Neilson was once the La Habra Heights Fire Chief. She said he abruptly resigned after working in that post six years, a month after a lawsuit was filed alleging he sexually harassed a subordinate.

She asked him about that charge and he said, “They were wrong.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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