LA Teacher Abuse Scandal Deepens

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 1:19pm

Third teacher accused of sexual contact with child in unrelated investigation.

A Los Angeles high school teacher's aide and coach was arrested Monday on suspicion of sexual contact with a 15-year-old student, according to the FBI.

The aide, identified as Alain Salas, was arrested at the Fremont High School campus.

He was booked for investigation of contact with a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense.

"We've had a continuing investigation that Mr. Salas had contact with 15-year-old female at the school," said FBI spokeswoman Lauran Eimiller. "The allegations are physical contact with a child at the school. It's sexual-related contact."

The investigation began in December.

A district spokesperson said that officials found out about the case on Monday.

Salas coached volleyball and softball at the high school.

A member of the softball team, who is not identified because of her age, told KNBC the man FBI described is not the man she knew.

"I think the accusations are false," she said. "I don't think he would do such a thing. I've never seen it in him. He was dedicated to us and how we loved the sport and he was willing to teach us every day."

Salas, 40, has not been charged, but the Associated Press reported that a tentative court date was scheduled for Wednesday.

His arrest comes after two former Miramonte Elementary School teachers were arrested on suspicion of lewd acts involving children.

Third-grade teacher Mark Berndt is charged with 23 felony counts, allegations that stemmed from photographs of blindfolded children in a Miramonte classroom.

Some of the children were pictured with spoons of semen held to their mouths, authorities said.

A second Miramonte teacher, Martin Bernard Springer, pleaded not guilty to committing three lewd acts on a girl.

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