LOS ANGELES -- It was a startling confession from the administrators at a Canoga Park elementary school in California on Tuesday, as one of their teachers was arrested for sexual misconduct.
Police said 44-year-old Joaquin Diaz-Orgaz, a special education assistant for the Los Angeles Unified School District at Sunny Brae Avenue Elementary School, was arrested and charged with sexual crimes against students.
According to the criminal complaint, Diaz-Orgaz sexually abused a now 19-year-old from 2009 to 2014 and an 11-year-old last year. Diaz-Orgaz worked at four schools over the past 16 years. Police were worried there may be more victims because Diaz-Orgaz also worked as a private tutor.
"So that is why we are trying to reach out to the public to find out if they have had any contact with him. And if there was an inappropriate relationship, to please talk you your children," said Stephanie Diaz of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Authorities said the first crime was reported back in March, but he wasn't pulled out of the classroom until the second complaint just last week.
"During these investigations, there are a lot of things that must stay in place to not compromise anything. That doesn't mean that they are not aware of what the suspect is doing, or possible suspect is doing, and I'm sure LAPD had every measure in place to ensure the safety of anybody involved while that investigation was going on," said L.A. School Police Department Chief Steve Zipperman.
Parents were notified on Tuesday that Diaz-Orgaz was placed on administrative leave.
The principal of the school issued a statement on the matter: "I would like to reassure parents and guardians that we continue to take every precaution to ensure the safety of students and staff at our schools."
Diaz-Orgaz was facing two counts of continuous sexual abuse and one count of kidnapping for child molesting. He was due in court June 28.
Tutor charged with sex crimes against students