Ongoing coverage of child abuse in schools

Former LAUSD Teacher Arrested in School Sex Abuse Case

Case involves 19 children, one adult victim, according to police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Robert Pimental, 57, is charged with eight counts of continuous sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child, and police say at least 20 children and one adult may have been victimized by the former teacher. Kim Baldonado reports from Wilmington for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2013.

    A former Wilmington elementary school teacher was arrested Wednesday in a school sexual abuse case allegedly involving at least 20 children and one adult, according to police.

    Robert Pimental, 57, was arrested Wednesday and is being held on $12 million bail.

    The Newport Beach man faces eight counts of continuous sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Wilmington Teacher Removed Amid Allegations

    [LA] Wilmington Teacher Removed Amid Allegations
    A teacher at a Wilmington elementary school has been removed from the classroom amid allegations of inappropriate conduct. The school's teacher has also been removed, but officials did not say why. Lolita Lopez reports from George de la Torre Jr. Elementary School.

    "The investigation began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth-grade teacher during school at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary," the statement read.

    Pimental left his position with the school during the investigation, which began March 15, 2012.

    Wilmington Teacher Faces Accusations

    [LA] Wilmington Teacher Faces Accusations
    Parents react after meeting to discuss the latest allegations involving an LAUSD employee. Lolita Lopez reports from Wilmington.

    "When the District first learned of the allegations, the teacher was immediately removed from
    campus ... Dismissal proceedings were initiated," LAUSD spokesman Daryl Strickland said in a statment. "Before the Board of Education could act on dismissal, he chose to retire."

    Students' parents were told about the allegations last March within 72 hours of Pimental's removal from campus, in accordance with LAUSD policy, Strickland said.

    United Teachers Los Angeles, a union that represents LA educators, said in a statment that it is "not familiar" with the allegations against Pimental, adding that after his resignation, Pimental is no longer a member of the union.

    "The allegations described are horrific," the statement read. "As teachers we have a duty to uphold the trust our students and their parents place in us."

    Pimental had worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District since 1974.

    George De La Torre Jr. Elementary is located at 500 North Island Ave. in Wilmington, a largely Latino Los Angeles Harbor Area neighborhood with about 50,000 residents. The school, opened to fanfare in 2006, has about 800 students.

    Anyone with information about the case was asked to contact police at 213-486-0570.

    NOTE: LAPD initially said an adult is among the 20 alleged victims. The department later said all the alleged victims are children before then updating the figure to 20 children and one adult.

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