ORANGE COUNTY, CA -- An elementary school teacher from Newport Beach was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles on suspicion of sexually abusing 20 students.
Robert Pimental, a 57-year-old fourth grade teacher at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington has been accused by 20 children and one adult of sexual abuse, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed eight counts of continuous sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child against Pimental. Pimental was being held at LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center on $12 million bail.
According to police, LAPD Juvenile Division’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit began their investigation into Pimental on March 15, 2012 when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by Pimental at school.
Pimental was employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District since 1974 but left his teaching position when the investigation began. In a released statement, United Teachers Los Angeles -- the union representing the district's
teachers -- said Pimental is no longer a union member.
"The allegations described are horrific," the statement said. "As teachers we have a duty to uphold the trust our students and their parents place in us."
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Juvenile Detective Division at 213-486-0570. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or 800-222-8477.