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Another LAUSD teacher charged with molestation

Juliana D. Norwood | 3/21/2012, 5 p.m.

A teacher at a Wilmington elementary school is being investigated for alleged "inappropriate touching" of a student. The investigation involves a male teacher at George de la Torre Jr. Elementary School, in Wilmington.

The ongoing investigation involves LAPD Juvenile Division detectives and personnel from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Monica Carazo of the LAUSD said the teacher has been removed from the school. Administrators have notified parents that there is an "active investigation" in progress, but other details were not being released, Carazo said.

Also making headlines this week is a 28-year-old former Saddleback Valley Unified School District child care worker, already convicted nearly four years ago of sexually assaulting a boy he was baby-sitting. He was convicted this week of molesting two boys in an after-school program that he oversaw.

Scott Andrew Christensen of Rancho Santa Margarita, who worked in the after-school program for about six years, wept after hearing the verdicts. Christensen is scheduled to be sentenced June 1 and faces up to 61 years to life in prison. He was convicted of three felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14, and the jury also found true sentencing enhancement allegations of substantial sexual conduct with a child and committing sex acts against multiple victims.

Christensen faced up to 16 years in prison for the charges he was convicted of in the first trial. This week's convictions made him eligible for an additional 45 years, plus a life term, Deputy District Attorney Nagy Morcos said.

The recent incidents add to the spike in sexual molestation cases that have spread throughout LAUSD and surrounding districts.

The outbreak of sexual molestation arrests began when Miramonte Elementary School teacher
Mark Berndt was arrested after allegedly blindfolding children in his third-grade class and feeding them his semen on cookies. This was followed by his colleague Martin Springer who was arrested for molesting two young girls in his third-grade class.