Merced elementary school teacher arrested for sex crimes involving minors

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "Mr. Jones, he said we could get ice cream," said King Crawford.

He seemed like the perfect teacher.

If you asked King Crawford, he'd tell you Art Jones was one of his favorite teachers at school.

That's why Karen Walker, Crawford's mother, was stunned to learn her son's former teacher was arrested on several alleged sex crime charges involving minors.

"I never got that vibe you know, like I said I'm just shocked," she said.

Merced County sheriff's investigators arrested 45-year-old Jones, also known as Teng Xiong, after they say several young victims came forward.

"Kindergarten, first grade, second grade," said deputy Darryl Allen. "We hope there aren't more victims out there, but in most cases we run into like this...there are."

Jones is currently a Kindergarten school teacher at Pioneer Elementary School.

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Investigators are still looking into these crimes they say happened recently, and possibly while he was a teacher.

"He's been an elementary school teacher for I don't know how many years. We don't know how long this has been going on," Allen said. "That's one of the things our detective is still investigating to determine how long its been going on."

Parents like Walker received an alert from the Weaver Union School District, letting them know about the incident.

The superintendent tells Action News, "The district placed Mr. Jones on administrative leave, effective immediately. School safety is always a primary focus. The district will continue to support and assist law enforcement in its investigation."

Karen Walker: "Did he ever come in the bathroom while you were in there?"

King Crawford: "No, he went to teachers' bathroom."

Walker does not suspect Jones of inappropriate behavior with her son, but she's still asking King questions about his favorite teacher as a vigilant parent.

"I'm afraid to let my child go to that school at this point. I'll be looking at other schools," Walker said.

Jones is out on bail again. Investigators say he is charged with child molestation and lewd acts on a child.

Anyone who has information, or believes their child is a victim is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff's Office.
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