law enforcement

Montebello Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Statutory Rape of 17-Year-Old Student

A Montebello teacher was arrested on suspicion of statutory rape of a 17-year-old girl, the Whittier Police Department said Saturday.

Brian Lee Ward, 46, was arrested Friday in Whittier. Ward is a high school teacher at Vail High School in the Montebello Unified School District.

"Ward had developed a sexual relationship with the student over the course of several months in 2016," a police statement read.

School officials notified law enforcement immediately after hearing of Ward's relationship with the student, who no longer attends Vail High School.

Montebello police began the investigation in December 2016 and officers quickly determined Ward and the girl allegedly had sexual contact at the teacher's home in the 7200 block of Comstock Avenue.

Montebello police turned the investigation over to Whittier police who discovered that though the victim was not in Ward's class, the girl attended the high school at the time when Ward was teaching.

Ward was arrested and held on $100,000 bail.

Whittier police asked anyone who may know another possible victim of Ward to call detectives at 562-567-9255.

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