An elementary school teacher's aide and Boys & Girls Club employee was accused of molesting students on Thursday, booked into a Riverside jail on $4 million bail.
Authorities began investigating Fernando Figueroa, 24, of Riverside after a student younger than 10 years old told an official at Liberty Elementary School last week that "she was touched by a technology aide in a sexual manner."
Detectives from Riverside's Sexual Assault - Child Abuse Unit found that there were additional victims with similar stories of assault and served a search warrant on Figueroa's residence in the 5000 block of La Sierra Avenue.
Figueroa, who was a technology aide in the school until he was placed on administrative leave and restricted from the campus immediately following the allegations, was arrested without incident. He was charged with several counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 10.
According to City News Service, Figueroa is a "dual employee" of the Riverside Unified School District, which runs Liberty Elementary, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Redlands-Riverside.
The club's chief executive, P.T. McEwen, said Figueroa worked in the organization's after-school program as a "youth development professional." He has been in that position for three years, "working directly with kids," McEwen said.
"This whole thing comes as a shock," McEwen said. He stressed that Figueroa underwent a background check prior to being hired.
The Riverside Police Department says Figueroa had access to several children both at the Riverside elementary school and the Redlands Boys & Girls Club. They ask anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact Detective Paul Miranda at (951) 353-7945 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Detective Bercian at (951) 353-7950 or email@example.com.