Avenal Middle School teacher facing serious charges

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Reef Sunset Middle School teacher facing serious charges
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A middle school teacher is in jail facing 24 charges, including felony child molestation and kidnapping.

AVENAL, Calif. (KFSN) -- A middle school teacher is in jail facing 24 charges, including felony child molestation and kidnapping.

70-year-old Curt Meyer is now in jail on charges he molested three of his students. One of Meyer's former students is still in shock after learning her beloved former middle school teachers is now in jail for molesting three of his students. She asked we not identify her. "I am very surprised-- I'm in disbelief. And I'm sure most of us that know him on a personal level we're all in disbelief and we're all hurting."

The former student says the popular teacher would even volunteer at homeless shelters and churches on the weekends and often kept in touch with his students. "He's came across my child as well and nothing has ever been done and I still trusted him, and I still do, and I don't believe the accusations are true."

Police say the charges are serious. Today the Kings County District Attorneys Office filed 21 felony counts and 3 misdemeanors against the 7th-grade math and science teacher including child molestation, kidnapping, false imprisonment and for owning an illegal assault weapon. Investigators said the crimes happened in late October as well as during the 2014-15 school year. "The students reported the alleged touching, inappropriate touching, to school staff who reported to us," said Russell Stiver, Avenal Police Chief.

Reef Sunset School District says administrators first got wind of the allegations back on October 29th. They immediately placed the 70-year-old on leave while they investigated. After three victims came forward officials brought the case to the police department on Wednesday, November 4th. Meyer was taken into custody on child molestation on the 6th. "The students reported to a service provider or counseling services, and that service provider contacted school administration," said Dr. David East, superintendent.

School officials say a separate person came forward back in January accusing Meyer of inappropriate touching, but there wasn't enough evidence to charge the case.

Meyer plead not guilty at his arraignment Monday afternoon. Investigators say, because of his age, if he's convicted of all the charges he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.