Former Mills High School teacher accused of sexual assault

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Students in two peninsula cities are stunned as they learn that a teacher in South San Francisco has been arrested.

Ken Crowell is accused of sexually assaulting a student when he used to teach at a school in Millbrae.

Thursday was far from a normal day at Westborough Middle School in South San Francisco. Parents and students are processing the news that one of the teachers, 58-year-old Crowell, was charged with 14 counts related to the alleged sexual assault of a student over a year in 2008-2009 when he was at Mills High School in Millbrae.

Police arrested Crowell Wednesday on Westborough's campus.

"I'm really scared because I have kids. I don't know about this, but I'm going to ask the teachers," said Joseph Arauho, a parent.

Prosecutors say Crowell was the band director at Mills High School in 2008 when he started an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student.

She went to police last summer, six years after the alleged relationship ended in 2009.

"That's more typical than you might imagine. Sometimes people need to become an adult to realize that the conduct really was wrong in a fundamental way," said Karen Guidotti, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District attorney.

Crowell resigned from Mills High School in the summer of 2008, but the district attorney's office says the relationship continued through the next year, with many of the encounters happening at his home in Burlingame.

The South San Francisco Unified School District placed Crowell on administrative leave from Westborough Middle School and say they're cooperating with police.

"One of the benefits of the media learning about this is that it does provide an opportunity for other individuals who might have been victimized to learn of it and come forward," Guidotti said.

The district attorney said Crowell has posted $250,000 bail. If he's convicted of all the charges he could face up to 10 years in prison. Crowell's first court appearance is scheduled for June 21.
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