Ass't. principal arrested: kidnap, assault

LOS ANGELES This isn't the first time Steve Rooney has been in trouble with the law.

Parents of students at the south L.A. school are outraged by the alleged crime.

The assistant principal is currently in jail charged with some very serious felonies: kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault on a minor. Bail is set at $1 million.

This incident allegedly occurred more than a week ago, but Rooney was arrested Tuesday morning. Parents were outraged when they found out.

Some parents Tuesday ran to the school to pull their kids out of class. James Welcome picked up his daughter. He feels betrayed by the school.

"To hear this is just outrageous," said Welcome. "Like my daughter said, you can put trust in these people because they're here to guide them."

"We send our kids to schools to you guys every morning thinking our kids are in good hands, but when they're not, we have to be worried about things like this," said parent Teka Lewis.

The assistant principal at Edwin Markham Middle School, Steve Rooney, was arrested Tuesday morning at his apartment in downtown Los Angeles. He is charged with kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault on a student. The incident allegedly occurred off the school property.

"The suspect had kidnapped a 13-year-old little girl who attends the school where he is the vice principal," said LAPD Lt. De La Torre. "He took her back to his residence, where the crime occurred."

A year ago Rooney was an assistant principal at Fremont High School where he was arrested for pointing a gun at the stepfather of a former student. School Superintendent David Brewer knew of this.

"I understand that happened before I got here, but we're going to be looking into it to find out exactly why he was still a part of the district," said LAUSD School Superintendent David Brewer. "I understand he was somehow, I guess the best word to say, he was cleared of those charges, whatever those charges were."

Tuesday the school gave a letter to parents. It told them Rooney is no longer at the school, that he's on mandatory unpaid leave, and that students are safe. But parents feel they aren't being told enough.

"That student, poor girl that went through this, she had confidence in the assistant principal," said parent Elvia Sanchez. "So who can the students have confidence in?"

"It scares me because I put a lot of trust into these people," said student Jazzmonay Welcome. "I look up to these people to get me through school, and to hear something like this, it really is scary."

Police say in these types of incidents, there are sometimes other alleged victims, and police say they are investigating that right now.


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