Walnut Creek school teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with minor arrested

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- A science teacher at Walnut Creek Intermediate School is on administrative leave after he was arrested by Martinez police for alleged inappropriate conduct with a minor, Walnut Creek School District officials said.

Officials said that Michael Bartel is a sixth and seventh grade science teacher at the school at 2425 Walnut Blvd. in Walnut Creek.

Prosecutors charged the teacher with multiple sex offenses against a child under the age of 10 years old.

Bartel faces 16 felony counts, including sexual assault of a child, arranging to meet a child for sex and possession and distribution of child pornography.

According to district officials, there have been no reports of inappropriate behavior by Bartel toward students at Walnut Creek Intermediate School during his tenure there.

Furthermore, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office said no local students are involved or identified in connection with the case.

District officials said that Bartel was employed by the district since 2015 and worked continuously as a science teacher at Walnut Creek Intermediate School.

He was hired after a thorough, standard background check that included fingerprinting and a criminal history review, district officials said.

Bartel is a graduate of California State University, East Bay and has been teaching since 2011.

He also served as a substitute teacher in Martinez public schools in 2013 and 2014.

A fully credentialed and retired teacher is currently substituting for Bartel's classroom as the case remains under investigation.

Bartel is being held on $16 million bail following his arrest on Friday.

ABC7 News contributed to this story.
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