by Kate McGinty
Indian Wells police arrested a teacher on Wednesday who is accused of sexually assaulting a fourth-grade girl and others.
Deputies first began investigating allegations in July of sexual assault on the fourth grader at Gerald Ford Elementary School in Indian Wells, Deputy Albert Martinez said today.
“The investigation revealed additional victims,” Martinez said.
The incidents happened during the 2011-12 school year, investigators said. Martinez did not immediately know more details about the allegations.
Robert Keith Bryan, 59, was arrested at his Palm Desert home at 10:35 a.m. Wednesday, according to jail inmate records.
He is being held in Riverside County jail in Indio on 11 felony counts, four of them for lewd and lascivious acts and seven of them for annoy or molest a child.
Bryan does not have a criminal record in Riverside County courts, according to online court records. A message left at Bryan’s home phone was not returned Wednesday.
Desert Sands Unified School District assistant superintendent Sherry Johnstone declined to comment on specifics of the investigation.
If Bryan is still under criminal investigation when school returns to session Aug. 27, he will be placed on unpaid administrative leave per district policy, Johnstone said.
“Children’s safety is No. 1 to us,” she said. “In a police investigation, they call the shots. Then we will do our own investigation internal investigation as soon as they give us the OK.”
She did not know late Wednesday how long he had been working for the district.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which oversees police services in Palm Desert, is investigating the case with the Riverside County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force, and the Sexual Predator Internet Decoy Enforcement for Riverside (SPIDER) unit.
This article was written by Kate McGinty and originally published on Mydesert