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L.A. schoolteacher charged with sexually assaulting 6 first-graders

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A Los Angeles first-grade teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting six female students, the L.A. County district attorney’s office announced Wednesday afternoon.

Martin Reyes Jr., 29, who taught at Sunrise Elementary School in Boyle Heights, faces 10 counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14.

Reyes, a Northeast Los Angeles resident, was arrested Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement this week. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 27, according to the district attorney’s office.

He remains in custody with bail set at $1 million, jail records show.

A closeup of a man in a police booking photo

Martin Reyes Jr., 29, is being held on $1 million bail, charged with crimes against female students at Sunrise Elementary School in Boyle Heights.

(Los Angeles Police Department)

“Our educators are entrusted with creating a safe and nurturing environment where students can learn and grow without the fear of abuse or exploitation,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a statement Wednesday. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that schools are places where all students can thrive, free from the threat of sexual violence.”

Authorities said the family of a female student contacted law enforcement on May 22 and alleged that Reyes had sexually assaulted her, according to the district attorney’s office. LAPD investigators have since identified five more girls with similar allegations.

The alleged assaults were all said to have occurred inside a classroom during recess, according to the district attorney’s office, and all of the girls were students enrolled in Reyes’ class.

Calls and emails seeking comment from the district attorney’s office and LAPD were not immediately returned late Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, a Los Angeles Unified spokesperson said the district could not disclose information about student and personnel matters, citing confidentiality concerns.

The spokesperson did share a message previously sent to the school community in which officials said they were notified Tuesday morning that a Sunrise Elementary employee had been arrested “for alleged misconduct with a minor.” The message did not name the employee.

“In late May, the school community shared their concerns about this employee with the school. Upon receiving these concerns, we immediately contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and removed the employee off-campus pending the results of an investigation,” that message read.

Student safety “continues to be our utmost priority,” the message continued. “Students and the greater school community are always encouraged to share any and all concerns with their school or with local authorities.”

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