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Arraignment Postponed For LAUSD Teacher Accused Of Molesting 14-Year-Old Girl

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DOWNEY (CBS) — An arraignment was postponed Wednesday for a LAUSD teacher accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Kip Richard Arnold, 51, faces charges of committing lewd acts on a child and felony evading. He hid behind his lawyer when he appeared in a Downey courtroom, and the judge set his bail at $1 million.

Arnold was hospitalized last week after leading authorities on a car chase from Lakewood to Rolling Hills Estates, where his truck flew down a steep embankment and briefly became airborne before crashing into a tree.

Prosecutors say Arnold had a sexual relationship with a then-14-year-old student between June and September 2005, while he was a teacher at Nimitz Middle School. The girl, now an adult, recently reported the relationship, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Arnold, who most recently worked as a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School, has also worked at Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies.

He has been charged with three counts of lewd acts on a child, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and one count of evading an officer.

Police had Arnold under surveillance at his Lakewood home on July 10, but when he walked out and saw the officers, he reportedly told them, “Hey, I know why you’re here. I’m going to commit suicide.”

Arnold then drove off, leading officers on a high-speed chase through Torrance and onto Crenshaw Boulevard, where he crashed.

If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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