SOUTH EL MONTE, Calif. - A South El Monte elementary school teacher was arrested Wednesday for allegedly molesting female students between the ages of 8 and 11 years old, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Joseph Baldenebro, a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, was arrested for multiple counts of lewd or lascivious acts involving children, as well as additional charges of annoying or molesting children.
The alleged acts happened in the classroom and on school grounds, and deputies think there may be more victims who haven't come forward.
Mountain View School District officials said they were notified by the principal of Miramonte of an alleged "incident" between the 54-year-old teacher and a student at the school, which led district officials to immediately call law enforcement.
In a statement sent to Eyewitness News, the district said it was "shaken by the allegations."
The statement read in part: "Yesterday the District was informed that Mr. Baldenebro was arrested under the suspicion of lewd acts...Additional school counselors have been made available to any students who might have been impacted by the removal of the teacher. While we are shaken by these allegations, the District trusts in the legal process and will have no further comment until that process has been completed."
Baldenebro was placed on administrative leave pending results of the investigation.
He was being held in lieu of $404,000 bail, sheriff's officials said, and is set to be arraigned Friday.
Anyone with information on Baldenebro was urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Special Victims Bureau at their toll-free tip line: (877) 710-5273.