A San Diego High School special education teacher has been arrested for alleged sex crimes involving a teenage student, officials confirmed Monday.
Juan Carlos Herrera, 49, was taken into custody by the San Diego Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit on Sunday, according to SDPD.
He faces charges of lewd and lascivious conduct, oral copulation, sex with a minor, attempted sodomy with a person under 18, and luring a minor for a sex offense.
He is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with female student, which SDPD said began when she was 15 years old. At this time, it is not clear if the victim was a student of Herrera.
Detectives launched the investigation Wednesday when the victim’s mother contacted the department after she reportedly found "inappropriate text messages" on her daughter’s phone from the teacher.
San Diego High School released the following statement to its students' parents:
"At San Diego High School, our first priority is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for your students. We also believe in communicating openly with our students, parents, and staff about incidents that affect our campus.
"Following an investigation by the San Diego Police Department, special education teacher Juan Carlos Herrera was arrested yesterday on charges that include lewd and lascivious acts with a teenage student. The San Diego Unified School District and its police department are assisting in the investigation.
"If you have any concerns about your student’s interaction with this teacher, please contact the school immediately.
"Please rest assured that we are doing everything possible to continue our focus on your student’s education while supporting them during this difficult situation. I will be visiting the teacher's classes to speak with the students and let them know that learning will not be disrupted. There is already an experienced substitute teacher that has been working in the affected classes.
"Our school counselors and I will be monitoring the situation at San Diego High carefully over the next few days. If needed, we can receive additional support from the district's Counseling and Guidance Department. Additionally, please know that we continue to work with all of the appropriate authorities to ensure the safety of your child. If you have any concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the district’s Quality Assurance at 619-725-7211, SDPD’s Sex Crimes Unit at (619) 531-2210, or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477."
No other information was available.
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