A 54-year-old South El Monte elementary school teacher was in custody Thursday on suspicion of inappropriately touching female students.

Joseph Baldenebro has been placed on administrative leave from his duties as a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, where he is alleged to have inappropriately touched girls between the ages of 8 and 11 years old both in the classroom and on school grounds, according to Sgt. Amy Hanson of the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

Baldenebro was arrested Wednesday on multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts involving children, as well as charges of annoying or molesting children, Hanson said.

He is being held in lieu of $404,000 bail, with arraignment expected on Friday at the Pomona courthouse, according to the sheriff’s department.

Mountain View School District Superintendent Lillian Maldonado French issued a statement saying the district “takes any allegation of misconduct of any kind very seriously.”

“The district was notified by the principal of Miramonte School of an alleged incident that occurred between a teacher and a student at the school. District officials immediately contacted law enforcement, and Mr. Baldenebro was simultaneously placed on administrative leave pending results of the investigation. Yesterday the district was informed that Mr. Baldenebro was arrested under the suspicion of lewd acts.”

French said the MVSD “has and will continue to fully cooperate with the sheriff’s investigation, and out of respect for judiciary due process and privacy laws, we cannot discuss any confidential details about personnel or students within the district. Additional school counselors have been made available to any students who might have been impacted by the removal of the teacher. While we are shaken by these allegations, the district trusts in the legal process and will have no further comment until that process has been completed.”

—City News Service


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