A South El Monte elementary school teacher accused of inappropriately touching female students was charged Friday with a felony count of lewd act on a child and four misdemeanor counts of child molestation.
Joseph Baldenebro, 54, was arrested Wednesday and has been placed on leave from his teaching duties at Miramonte Elementary School. He allegedly touched five girls between the ages of 8 and 11, both in the classroom and on school grounds, according to sheriff’s officials and the District Attorney’s Office.
He is expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon in Pomona. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted as charged, prosecutors said.
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 (Wednesday) 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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