New details on Ex-VUSD employee accused of sex crimes

New details about a former Visalia Unified employee arrested and accused of molesting a 14 year old student.
March 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
New details about a former Visalia Unified employee arrested and accused of molesting a 14 year old student. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Luis Lopez.

Administrators were trying to keep the school day as normal as possible on campus Tuesday. Police first got wind of the crimes after someone filed a child abuse report.

Classes resumed as normal for students at Valley Oak Middle School in Visalia, while teachers and staff met to talk about the recent arrest of a campus supervisor, who had been on campus as recently as a few weeks ago.

Principal Michael Hernandez said, "Obviously any time this happens it's a tragedy and we're all concerned for safety. I did have a staff meeting this morning to address my staff about protocols and procedures."

Counselors were also on-hand for students and staff. Luis Lopez was arrested Monday for child molestation, after police say he had a year-long sexual relationship with a 14-year-old Valley Oak Middle School student, while he worked there as a campus supervisor.

Authorities first learned of the crimes after someone submitted a child abuse report, which can sometimes come from teachers and doctors who are mandated to report crimes if they hear or see evidence of them.

Sgt. Ozzie Dominguez said, "We obtained a child abuse report and when that came through we combed it over and we immediately contacted the victim and confirmed that those allegations in there were accurate."

The suspect then came down to the Visalia Police Department Monday to be interviewed and was arrested shortly after.

Police say at the time, Lopez had already parted ways with the school a few weeks ago before the investigation was underway.

Sgt. Dominguez added, "He pursued other options with a contractor with a local telecommunications company."

The staff at Valley Oak Middle School is working to try and prevent any future incidents like this.

As a campus supervisor, Lopez patrolled the school to protect it from unwelcome visitors.

Hernandez added, "There are times they go to secure students to bring them to the office to go to appointments and stuff like that but their main duties are to provide another set of eyes on our campus to protect kids."

The district attorney's office is reviewing the case and is expected to make a determination on charges Wednesday.

If he's charged with child molestation, he'll be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

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