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Newport Teacher Faces New Charge in Sex Crimes Case

Prosecutors allege Robert Pimentel sexually abused 12 children while he worked as a teacher at an elementary school in Wilmington.

A new charge was filed today against a former teacher from Newport Beach who's facing sex-related counts involving a dozen children at a school in Los Angeles.

The latest charge filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors accuses Robert Pimentel, 57, of Newport Beach, of committing a lewd act on a child in September 2004 in Orange County.

Pimentel -- a former fourth-grade teacher at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington -- was already facing a charge that the same girl was a victim of continuous sexual abuse between Jan. 1, 2002, and Sept. 24, 2004, in Los Angeles County.

The new charge brings to 16 the number of counts against Pimentel, who is now facing eight counts each of continuous sexual abuse and committing a lewd act on a child. The criminal complaint alleges that the bulk of the crimes occurred between September 2011 and March 2012.

Pimentel, who was arrested Jan. 23 by the Los Angeles Police Department's Juvenile Division, remains jailed.

He began working for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1974 and was removed from the classroom when the investigation began in March 2012, according to police and the school district.

LAPD Detective Gus Villanueva said the investigation "began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth-grade teacher."

According to the LAUSD, parents at the school were notified within 72 hours of Pimentel's removal from the classroom last March. The district began efforts to fire him, but Pimentel opted to retire, meaning he will collect pension benefits.

-City News Service

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