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LAUSD teacher in wild pursuit appears in court

July 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hiding behind his defense attorney, the LAUSD teacher who was arrested after a dramatic high-speed pursuit made his first court appearance on Wednesday after spending a week in the hospital.

Kip Arnold was injured after leading CHP officers on a pursuit that ended with a spectacular crash. His truck launched 70 feet down an embankment in Rolling Hills Estates, smashing into a tree. According to investigators from Bell, he said he would kill himself rather than be arrested for lewd acts upon a child.

The arraignment hearing was continued to Aug. 8. He has been charged with three counts of lewd act on a child who was 14, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of evading an officer.

The 51-year-old has been with LAUSD for eight years. He is currently on paid administrative leave.

Arnold, a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl in 2005 between June and September. The alleged victim is now 21 years old.

According to Bell police, Arnold met the alleged victim at Nimitz Middle School in Huntington Park, and the relationship went on for years, according to Mark Haushalter, the attorney for the alleged victim.

Authorities say Arnold has faced similar troubles before. According to court records, he was charged with two molestation cases in 1993 in Long Beach, but they were dismissed.

LAUSD notified students at all schools where Arnold has worked, including Southeast Middle School, Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School, Orchard Academies 2B and Bell High School, where former students may be attending now.

The Bell Police Department says they conducted interviews with other individuals, but they have not located any additional victims.

If convicted, Arnold faces up to seven years in prison. He is being held on $1 million bail.


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