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Former high school principal arrested on suspicion of molesting students

July 9, 2009 |  5:06 pm

A former Lynwood high school principal has been arrested on suspicion of molesting three students at the school and another in the Whittier area.

 Jonas Silverio, 40, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon by sheriff’s detectives at LAX after flying in from the Philippines. He allegedly fled to that country in May and returned Wednesday, unaware that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Silverio is accused of molesting at least two members of the girls’ volleyball team at Lynwood’s Firebaugh High School, said L.A. County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Scott. He’s been charged with 17 counts of committing lewd acts upon a child and is being held on $1 million bail.

He resigned his position at Firebaugh High in early May after sheriff detectives began investigating the molestation allegations. The incidents allegedly occurred in 2001 and 2005. In addition to being principal, Silverio was the school’s volleyball coach.

Scott said their investigation is ongoing and that detectives are checking allegations that go back as far as 1996. Detectives from the Special Victims Bureau learned of the victim in Whittier/ Santa Fe Springs area during the investigation, Scott said.

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about Silverio conduct contact them at (866) 247-5877.

--Richard Winton

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