by: Hannah Esqueda
A Parlier High School teacher was arrested on Jan. 18 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, according to the Sanger Police Department.
Anthony Lepore, 25, was arrested at his home in Clovis by Clovis police after the girl’s parents reported the incident, said Sanger Police Capt. Kent Matsuzaki.
As of Monday, Jan. 20, Lepore was in Fresno County Jail.
Lepore faces five felony charges, including sexual assault of a minor, lewd acts with a minor and assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office website.
The case involves several police departments because Lepore is accused of committing crimes in Parlier and Sanger, Matsuzaki said.
The case began when the girl’s parents reported her missing to the Parlier Police Department on the night of Jan. 17.
Matsuzaki said the parents were waiting for her to come home when Lepore dropped the girl off at their residence in Parlier.
The parents then went outside and confronted Lepore, who allegedly drove at them with his vehicle before leaving the scene, Matsuzaki said.
The sexual assault allegedly took place earlier that night in Lepore’s car while it was parked on Swan Avenue in Sanger, according to Sanger police.
Matsuzaki said Sanger police are investigating the alleged sexual assault, while the Parlier Police Department investigates the charge of assault with a deadly weapon stemming from Lepore allegedly driving his vehicle toward the girl’s parents.
Both investigations are ongoing, he said.
Parlier Unified School District Superintendent Gerardo Alvarez confirmed that Anthony Lepore is a teacher at Parlier High School, and that he also serves as the varsity boys basketball coach.
“The district is cooperating fully with the Sanger Police Department and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office,” he said. “I make a high priority of student safety.”
Lepore has been placed on mandatory administrative leave without pay and will not return to the district, Alvarez said. Lepore has worked at Parlier Unified since August.