Ongoing coverage of child abuse in schools

Substitute Teacher Accused of Inappropriate Contact With Student

Detectives say a parent notified school officials after they saw photos on the 13-year-old victim's phone

By Samantha Tata
|  Wednesday, May 2, 2012  |  Updated 5:40 AM PDT
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Taylor Welch, 22, was arrested on suspicion of felony lewd acts upon a child and distributing obscene material to a minor, authorities said. He has since been terminated from his substitute teaching position at Hutchinson Middle School in La Mirada, where he reportedly met the 13-year-old victim.

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Facebook and text messages are among the media a La Mirada substitute teacher is suspected of using to engage in inappropriate contact with a middle school student, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said.

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Taylor Welch, 22, was arrested Tuesday morning at his La Mirada home on suspicion of felony lewd acts upon a child and distributing obscene material to a minor, authorities said.

Welch served as a substitute teacher at Hutchinson Middle School in La Mirada, where he met the 13-year-old girl in his classroom.

Detectives said they found each other on Facebook and a friendship developed.

That friendship allegedly led to the “unlawful exchange of sexually graphic photographs, live video feed and sexting messages between the suspect and the child,” detectives said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Inappropriate personal contact also occurred in the classroom after class, according to the statement, which was signed with a link to a parents’ guide to social networking sites.

An investigation began on April 24 after a parent notified school officials they were suspicious about possible inappropriate contact between the teacher and the student.

The 13-year-old girl reportedly showed her friend photographs stored on her cell phone, which prompted the parent to inform school leaders, sheriff’s said.

Welch was a substitute teacher at Hutchinson Middle School since September 2011.

Detectives said he has not substitute taught at any other school and has been “relieved of his duties” at Hutchinson.

He is being held on $140,000 bail.

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