An L.A. Unified School District teacher was arrested today for allegedly molesting students, namely two 13-year-olds and one 14-year-old who attend Gaspar Portola Middle School in Tarzana, authorities said.
Thirty-two-year-old Jason Leon was taken into custody this morning based on a warrant, the L.A. City Attorney's office announced this afternoon.
The office states he's been charged with …
… four counts of child molestation and three counts of battery.
Allegations against the suspect go back to 2010, the City Attorney's office says:
On the last day of class, June 15, 2012, one 13-year-old female student reported that her teacher, Leon, had allegedly touched her inappropriately on that day. Three days later, another 13-year-old female student of Leon's reported that on both June 15, 2012, and several days earlier, Leon had engaged in similar behavior. Charges also include allegations by a third female student of the school who claims to have been similarly abused by Leon on several occasions in 2010 when she was 14 years old.
Leon was being held at the LAPD's Van Nuys jail in lieu of $35,000 bail, prosecutors say. If convicted he could face five-and-a-half years behind bars, they added.
[Added at 5:06 p.m.]: The L.A. Unified School District sent out a statement this afternoon. It says that Leon …
… was removed from the campus in June of 2012 when the allegation of misconduct first surfaced. At that time, parents and guardians were notified within 72-hours of his removal. A second notification indicating the arrest was sent today.
Since the 2012-13 school year began in August, he has been housed at a non-school location with no contact with students.
He started his career with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in August 2004 as a probationary teacher at Portola, and became permanent in 2007. He taught history and communications.