Los Angeles

LAUSD Teacher's Assistant Accused of Sexual Battery on Students

Authorities are seeking additional victims of a teacher's assistant at a downtown Los Angeles Unified School District high school arrested on suspicion of inappropriately touching students.

Pil Mendez, 34, a teacher assistant at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, was arrested Wednesday on one count of sexual battery and three counts of annoying or molesting a child under 18, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

In November 2015, a female student reported that Mendez inappropriately touched her and made sexual comments to her on multiple occasions. During the investigation, additional students said that Mendez had also inappropriately touched them and made inappropriate sexual comments to them, police said.

Mendez was immediately removed from his position when the initial accusations were made, according to a statement by LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King.

"I strongly believe that adults must be responsible for protecting children. As Superintendent, and as a mother, I take this responsibility very seriously," King said. "Every day, our employees work hard to provide a safe environment for our students. We will continue to make student safety the District's highest priority."

King added that L.A. Unified was working with LAPD during the investigation.

Mendez is being held on $50,000 bail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department's Juvenile Division - Sexually Exploited Child Unit at 213-486-0580 during business hours and 877-527-3247 during non-business hours.

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