Calif. teacher may have abused 19 children

Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles elementary school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of lewd acts of sexual abuse involving as many as 19 children, officials say.

The accusations against Robert Pimental, 57, date back to March 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The George de la Torre Elementary teacher was charged with 15 counts of "committing lewd acts and continual sexual abuse [fondling] of numerous students," police Capt. Fabian Lizzaraga said.

Prosecutors said they believe he victimized seven other children as well as one adult.

He was held on $12 million bond Wednesday.

Another Los Angeles elementary school teacher, Mark Berndt, 61, was charged last year with 23 counts of lewd behavior.

He is accused of feeding his semen to students and of putting cockroaches on their faces. He remains in jail in lieu of $23 million bond.

That incident has spawned claims against the school district by 126 students and 63 parents and six lawsuits on behalf of 37 students and a seventh involving 11 parents.

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