FRESNO, California (KFSN) --Fresno Police say they have arrested 21-year-old Andres Perez-Esteban, a teacher assistant at Fresno Unified, after family members notified police of the alleged inappropriate relationship.
Parents outside of Olmos Elementary School in southeast Fresno were shocked when they learned of Perez-Esteban's arrest.
"Sad, it's sad," parent Sasha Chavez said.
"It's scary, it's really scary," another parent added.
Police said family members called authorities last Thursday after finding disturbing text messages that he had been sending to their 4th-grader.
"It's disgusting, why, it's a child?" Chavez said.
And those messages they say led to an even more alarming discovery.
"There was some inappropriate touching which we believe took place at school, and subsequently he was arrested for child molestation," Sgt. Daniel Macias with the Fresno Police Department explained.
"Thursday evening, Fresno Unified School District was made aware of an allegation regarding inappropriate conduct by a teacher's aide at Olmos Elementary School. Law enforcement was immediately contacted and investigated which ultimately led to this person's arrest. The teacher's aide comes to us through a community partnership and is not a Fresno Unified employee. Despite that fact, it is extremely upsetting to hear of the allegations being made. The allegations involve a single student and at this time we have no reason to think any other students were impacted. Fresno Unified does not take this incident lightly as it detracts from the work being done by thousands around the district to provide students a safe place to learn. "
Esteban was employed by the Butte County Office of Education but was doing his student teaching in Fresno. The department has not yet issued a statement.
Police are not sure how long the inappropriate relationship between Esteban and the nine-year-old girl lasted, but they say they arrested him before it got worse.
Police would not say exactly what those text messages said but said it was enough to indicate that the Esteban had every intention to do more things with the student.
Esteban was booked into the Fresno County Jail and has since bonded out.