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Granada Hills driving school instructor accused of sexual battery

A driving school instructor in Granada Hills was charged for 'inappropriate touching,' and there may be other victims.

September 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A driving school instructor in Granada Hills was charged on Thursday for "inappropriate touching," and investigators fear there may be other victims.

Prosecutors charged 44-year-old Joselito Valencia Danan, who owns Valleywide Driving School, with misdemeanor sexual battery of a juvenile.

Authorities say the 17-year-old alleged victim says that the incident happened on Aug. 16 during a driving training lesson. Investigators say the alleged victim's family alerted police. No further details were immediately available.

"We are obviously concerned that there could be other potential victims because of the access that this individual had to juveniles," said LAPD officer Karen Rayner.

Anthony Van Hartesvelt, an employee at the driving school, said he was surprised by the accusations, and said he doesn't believe them to be true. He said he has spoken to the suspect, who told him that the accusations weren't true.

"The allegations completely caught me off guard," he said. "I know him, he's a nice guy."

Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7.