A former teacher at the elementary school level in Los Angeles, who taught for more than 35 years, was arrested on allegations that he sexually abused up to 20 students and an adult
January 24, 2013 – A former teacher at the elementary school level in Los Angeles, who taught for more than 35 years, was arrested on allegations that he sexually abused up to 20 students and an adult.
Robert Pimentel was charged by police with 15 felonies and will likely be charged in the remaining incidents with misdemeanors. The incidents are said to have taken place while he was teaching at George De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington.
Pimentel, who is 57, left his position as a fourth grade teacher last March when the investigation began. Prior to stepping down, Pimentel taught since 1974 in the district.
One student, who was eleven, told a local network that Pimentel would try to rub up against her fellow classmates during the school day. Police started an investigation into Pimentel’s alleged activities after a number of students told their parents of the alleged abuse.
Once the allegations became known by police, Pimentel was removed from the school and the state educational department was notified. The school will inform the parents and guardians of students of Pimentel’s arrest through a letter and phone call, said a school spokesperson.
The Los Angeles area has seen a number of incidences of teachers being accused of sexually abusing their students. Over 225 parents and schoolchildren are currently involved in a number of claims against the school district after Mark Berndt a schoolteacher from Miramonte Elementary was arrested in early 2012 and pleaded guilty to 23 lewd conduct counts.
Berndt has been accused of feeding cookies that contained his semen to students and photography the children in “tasting games.”
Last December, the district was ordered to pay $6.9 million by a jury to a boy who was molested by a teacher in elementary school. It was one of the largest jury awards in the school system’s history.