Tracy teacher charged with lewd acts

March 20, 2009 11:48:09 AM PDT
There is new information on a substitute teacher accused of touching eight girls with sexual intentions. Police say Jesse Llorente committed the crimes in Tracy. But he's also taught in San Jose and Los Angeles. Parents are meeting with school officials on Friday afternoon at George Kelly Elementary School.

SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

This will be the second of two informational meetings held at George Kelly Elementary School. The district sent home a letter on Thursday with students; it explains that a criminal incident happened on campus last month and that a substitute teacher was just arrested for it.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jesse Llorente III sits in San Joaquin County Jail on $750,000 bail -- since 2005, he worked as a substitute teacher in the Tracy Unified School District; but not anymore after his arrest on charges of molesting students and possession of child pornography. District officials say Llorente hasn't been in a classroom since the incidents were reported on February 27th.

"As soon as any concern was related to us, we immediately made sure that the students were safe, that's our first priority-- pulled the sub out of the classroom and handed it over to the police department," said Ryan Davis, asst. superintendent of human resources.

Tracy police say Llorente was with 5th and 6th graders at George Kelly School, when his alleged contact with students led to an investigation. Detectives say he inappropriately touched eight girls over two days of working at the school - which surfaced when those girls reported it to staff there. About three dozen parents attended an informational meeting held at the school Thursday afternoon, many upset, but at least one parent is holding off judgment.

"Eight girls is a lot. Anyone can say anything and all of a sudden, the picture is in the paper. You know what - we are innocent until proven guilty in this country," said Leslie Douglas, parent.

The school investigation led detectives to serve a search warrant at Llorente's Tracy home, where police say they found at least one image of child pornography on a computer. The district wants parents to rest assured it never had any issues with Llorente -- nor were there any problems known during his prior teaching at districts in Los Angeles and San Jose.

"We did everything that we could. We do thorough background checks on every one of our employees. This employee, there was no indication that he should have been of any concern to anybody. There was nothing in his record," said Davis.

The San Jose Unified School District has confirmed that Jesse Llorente also taught as a floating substitute teacher for a couple of years at many of its middle and high schools from 2006 to 2008. At this time, there are no known incidents in San Jose.

Tracy police ask anyone with complaints about Llorente, or information about this ongoing investigation, to contact them.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget