A former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of committing lewd acts and sexually abusing 20 children and an adult, law enforcement authorities said.
Times staff writer Richard Winton will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. to discuss the allegations against Robert Pimentel, 57, who taught at George de la Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington.
Prosecutors filed 15 charges against Pimentel involving a dozen alleged victims. The charges allege sexual abuse and lewd acts on a child and cover the period from September 2011 to March 2012, according to court records. Authorities said the teacher is suspected of inappropriately touching children under and over their clothing.
Detectives suspect Pimentel victimized an additional eight children and the adult, LAPD Capt. Fabian Lizarraga told The Times.
Wednesday evening, L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy said both Pimentel and the school's principal were immediately removed when the district found out about the allegations in March. Deasy said he removed the principal because he was "dissatisfied" with how the situation was handled at the school.
United Teachers Los Angeles issued a statement saying that union officials were "not familiar with details of the case" and that the accused ex-teacher was no longer a member of the union. The union will not be involved in his defense, the statement said.
"The allegations described are horrific. As teachers we have a duty to uphold the trust our students and their parents place in us," the union said. "We urge our members and the community to cooperate with ongoing law enforcement investigations in this case."