GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA.com) – A parent who volunteered as a chaperone on a field trip for a Granada Hills school last week has been arrested on allegations of inappropriate contact with at least one student, police said.
Hugo Paniagua was arrested Friday on charges of contact with a minor with intent to commit a felony.
At a news conference Monday, Los Angeles police reported that Paniagua chaperoned a field trip May 30 for Patrick Henry Middle School. On June 1, a school administrator became aware of allegations of inappropriate contact between Paniagua and a student who was on the trip.
“During and after the field trip, Hugo has been accused of inappropriate contacts with a student that attended the field trip,” LAPD Capt. Bryan Lium said Monday.
The school contacted police, who conducted an investigation that resulted in the arrest of Paniagua.
It was not immediately clear if Paniagua had a criminal history or whether the school conducted a full background check on him prior to the field trip.
Los Angeles Unified Police Chief Steven Zipperman told reporters he was unsure if Paniagua had chaperoned any previous school events. Under LAUSD policy, Zipperman explained, it is at the discretion of a school administrator whether to do a full background check on any adult who is volunteering for a school event that is under 16 hours in a week. In those cases, an administrator is only required to do a Megan’s Law check, Zipperman said.
“The policy is that a school administrator has the option of doing a background check of any volunteer,” Zipperman said. “But as that pertains to a chaperone or volunteer which may involve a single type of field trip…then often times it would only require a check of Megan’s Law background, as opposed to a full background (check).”
Police did not confirm the age or gender of the alleged victim or whether other potential victims had been identified. Police were asking parents with any information on the case to come forward by calling LAPD at 818-832-0609.