Former Fresno Unified teacher's aide pleads not guilty to sex crimes with elementary student

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Andres Perez-Esteban is charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a nine-year-old student. (KFSN)

Andres Perez-Esteban dodged another round of passionate protesters as he showed up to court Tuesday, while hiding his face behind a pair of sunglasses. He is charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a nine-year-old student.

Protesters did not want to be identified but say they will continue to be a voice for the children.

The 21-year-old pleaded not guilty, and is keeping himself out of jail.

After three felony charges were filed against him, a judge increased his bail from $40,000 dollars to $120,000. He was given a week to raise the money and has now posted that bond

Perez-Esteban worked as a teacher's aide at Olmos Elementary School, and was arrested last month when family members called authorities after finding disturbing text messages he had been sending to the victim.

"If he is convicted of this, or pleads guilty to it, he's going to have to register as a sexual predator and it's going to be for the rest of your life, so it's very serious," said Tony Capozzi, legal analyst.

Capozzi said the text messages between Perez-Esteban and the 4th grader are key in this case to determine the outcome.

"If it's just merely text messages and nothing more, this could be a misdemeanor or a felony, it depends-- it's what we call a wobbler."

Prosecutors said the sex crimes started almost two years ago and only ended last month.

Protesters say they will be at every hearing until the end.

Perez-Esteban is due back in court again on May 30th and could face up to 24 years in prison.

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