WILMINGTON (CBSLA.com) — The LAPD has arrested a fourth grade teacher for the alleged sexual abuse of 15 children at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington, authorities reported.
Officers arrested 57-year-old Robert Pimentel, of Newport Beach, Wednesday after a months-long investigation into molestation accusations.
Several girls told their parents last year they had been inappropriately touched by Pimentel, who was placed on administrative leave on March 19.
The teacher had been employed by the L.A. Unified School District since 1974.
The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office filed eight counts of continuous sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child against Pimentel.
He’s being held at LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center on $12 million bail.
United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing the district’s teachers, issued a statement saying union officials are unfamiliar with the details of the case and that Pimentel is no longer a member of the union. Their organization will not be involved in his defense.
“The allegations described are horrific. As teachers we have a duty to uphold the trust our students and their parents place in us,” the statement reads. “We urge our members and the community to cooperate with ongoing law enforcement investigations in the case.”
A grandmother of a student at the school expressed shock over the allegations.
“It’s crazy,” Jacqueline Ruiz said. “I mean it’s right down the street. You would never think it would happen in our school. This is a new school. You can’t trust nobody nowadays. It’s not even safe to send your kids to school anymore.”
Anyone with information regarding this matter was asked to call LAPD investigators at (213) 486-0570.