Orange County music teacher arrested, accused of sexual assault

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A 30-year-old music teacher in south Orange County posted bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting of a minor. (KABC)

UPDATE: The Orange County District Attorney's Office declined to file charges in this case.

A 30-year-old music teacher in south Orange County posted bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting of a minor.

Christian Hernandez was arrested Thursday by investigators from the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Detail.

Hernandez worked as an independent music teacher at the Los Rios Rock School and also provided private lessons outside the school, according to investigators.

Deputies said the victim, who was 15 at the time of the alleged assault, recently reported the incident to investigators. She is now 17.

"It's alleged that Christian, while instructing students, was very inappropriate with his students and crossed the line," Lt. Lane Lagaret said.

Investigators said a second female victim also recently came forward alleging inappropriate conduct by the suspect, but no charges have been filed and the investigation continues.

The woman, who is now 20, was 16 at the time of the alleged incident, authorities said. Both incidents are believed to have occurred between two and five years ago.

OCSD and school officials said the alleged crimes happened away from the school and at the victim's homes.

Investigators said Hernadez's access to children leads them to believe there may be more victims.

"This type of predator is a big concern for law enforcement in that they use their position to build trust with the victims so that they can get closer and commit their crime," Lagaret said.

School officials released the following statement:

In September 2016, LRRS acted swiftly and decisively to terminate the employment of Christian Hernandez (music teacher) immediately upon learning that he communicated inappropriately with two students, outside of LRRS and in breach of school policy. At that time, LRRS took further, appropriate steps to ensure ongoing student safety and care, including, self-reporting the matter to the Orange County Sheriff's Department (which launched an investigation with which LRRS partnered), conducting an internal LRRS investigation, revisiting its safety and security protocol, and communicating openly with all LRRS families.

We have just learned that the OCSD's investigation has led to Mr. Hernandez's arrest today. Based on our diligence and partnership with the OCSD, we understand that the incidents in question did not happen on LRRS property (but rather off-site at student residences) and, furthermore, we are aware of no additional victims or incidents.

Paramount to us is the safety and security of all LRRS students. We take nothing more serious than the trust our parents and students place in us, not just to teach, but to support and protect all students. Keeping our students safe extends to our requirement that all teachers be Live Scanned; cameras in the buildings, live rooms and teaching offices; security codes on our doors; and, requiring teacher-student communication through TeacherZone.

We are fully confident that the removal of Mr. Hernandez from LRRS and the security measures the School employs have promoted and ensured that LRRS is a safe and secure place. We will never waver in maintaining a secure environment for our students to learn, grow and thrive and fulfill their music potential.

Anyone with additional information or who believes they were a victim is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department Special Victims Detail at (714)647-7419 or (714)647-7000. Anonymous tips may be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.
Related Topics:
sexual assaultsex crimesmolestationchild sex assaultmusicteacher arrestedOrange County
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