TARZANA (CBSLA.com) — A Tarzana middle school teacher was arrested Monday on suspicion of molesting three female students.
Jason Leon, 32, has been charged with four counts of child molestation and three counts of battery.
On June 15, 2012, a 13-year-old student at Gaspar Portola Middle School reported that Leon touched her inappropriately. Three days later, another girl, also 13, reported that he had also engaged in similar behavior that same day.
A third girl claims she was abused by Leon several times in 2010, when she was 14 years old.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich promised a swift prosecution of the case and told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO when his daughters were young, he believed they were safe at school.
“When I sent them to school, I sent them there because I trusted that that school was gonna take care of them in my absence, and that they were out of harm’s way,” Trutanich said. “To put a fox in the hen house, so to speak, is uncalled for…that guy needs to be prosecuted. Period.”
District officials said Leon was immediately moved from the Portola campus as soon as allegations of misconduct surfaced in June of last year.
Leon has been a teacher in L.A. Unified since 2004.
“Working with the LAPD and the school district, this office will aggressively prosecute adults who prey upon our children,” Trutanich said. “Our schools should be one of the safest of places in the community for our children, and I will do everything within my authority to ensure their safety.”
Leon, who was taken into custody by LAPD officers, is being held on $35,000 bail at the Van Nuys jail.
If convicted, he faces five and a half years in jail and $26,000 in fines.