Legacy Christian Academy officials issued a statement regarding an on-campus arrest made Wednesday due to an allegation that a teacher “inappropriately touched” a student.
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Carl Astrera, 35, a Panorama City, works as a teacher at Legacy Christian Academy, according to Sheriff’s Department officials.
He’s due at court April 16 in Newhall to answer the accusation, according to the complaint filed in court Thursday. The alleged victim was an 11-year-old boy.
The statement was attributed to Legacy Christian Principal Timothy W. Borruel. It was posted on the school’s website Thursday.
Astrera was arrested at the school around noon Wednesday, after officials with the District Attorney’s Office agreed to pursue a misdemeanor charge of “annoying or molesting a child,” according to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.
An investigator with the Special Victims Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department characterized the teacher-student contact as “inappropriate under any circumstances,” but did not cite specifics.
“Based on the information we have obtained, our 14 years of experience with this teacher and even the nature of the allegations, we had and have no reason to believe that any Legacy student was subjected to any risk with this teacher,” according to Borruel’s statement.
“The teacher involved will remain on administrative leave pending further investigation and evaluation,” according to the letter. “Given the understandable concern expressed by so many in our community, we feel compelled to advise you of what we do know at this time.”
The principal’s letter cited the following pieces of information:
1. There were no allegations conveyed to us of touching that was overtly sexual in nature – rather we have been advised of an alleged incident when, while playing tag out on the playground with several students, the teacher picked the student up off the ground.
2. The teacher is alleged to have stated to the student in a classroom setting full of students, that the student would be excused to leave the classroom if “he gave the teacher a hug.” There is no allegation that a hug actually ensued.
3. The teacher is alleged to have “winked” at the student in class.
4. There is no allegation that the teacher was ever alone with the student in any setting.
5. There was no contact by the teacher with the student outside of school either in person, telephone, email or through social media.
6. The student had been given a “yellow card” for disciplinary reasons by the accused teacher in October 2013.
Sheriff’s Department officials presented the case to the District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, after an investigation starting on Feb. 28, which culminated in Astrera’s arrest Wednesday.
Legacy Christian Academy officials declined to answer questions about statement and the incident.
Astrera was listed as released from custody at 5:39 p.m. Wednesday, in lieu of $20,000 bail.
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Source: Santa Clarita News