Rowland Heights teacher accused of molesting 4 girls

ROWLAND HEIGHTS, Calif. (KABC) -- A Rowland Heights man, who taught second grade within the Rowland Unified School District, is accused of molesting four girls.

Jose Martinez, 54, was arrested on April 24 and is being held on $1,420,000, according to booking records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He was the second Rowland Unified School District teacher in a month to be arrested and accused of molestation.

He pleaded not guilty on April 26 to four counts of felony lewd acts upon a child and one misdemeanor count of child molesting, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed.

Martinez is accused of molesting four girls on or between Aug. 1, 2017 and April 1, 2018. One of the victims told a parent who then alerted authorities, according to the DA's office.

It was not known if the victims are students. Authorities also did not specify where the alleged molestations occurred. Martinez taught second grade at Rowland Elementary, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

If convicted, Martinez faces a possible maximum sentence of 60 years to life in prison and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the DA's office said.

The Rowland Unified School District released the following statement:

As a District, we take all matters involving student safety very seriously. We respond promptly and aggressively in each situation, allowing law enforcement to do a complete investigation. Inappropriate or unsafe behaviors by anyone in our schools will not be tolerated.

Upon receipt of information regarding alleged misconduct of a 2nd grade teacher, the teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and school. The allegations were reported to law enforcement and we have cooperated fully with their investigation.

We have communicated with our families to inform them of this situation.
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