[UPDATED with District Reaction:] Alex Bassinne, Ex-Santa Ana Teacher, Accused of Molesting Teen Girls, Possessing Child Porn
The statement from district Superintendent Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana follows after the jump . . .
We are deeply troubled to learn that a former teacher allegedly engaged in this reprehensible behavior and took advantage of the trust inherent in his profession. We are cooperating fully with the authorities, and encourage anybody with information that might aid their investigation to contact either the District Attorney's office or the Newport Beach Police Department immediately.
Alex Bassinne, 50, who had taught math at Santa Ana High School and Raymond A. Villa Fundamental Intermediate School, was arrested today by Newport Beach Police and later charged with felony lewd acts upon a child under 14, lewd acts upon a child and possession and control of child pornography.
He had moved with his family from Laguna Niguel to Newport Beach but left behind furniture, including a desk. Someone found a disc in the desk containing graphic pornographic images of girls ages 10-12 and turned it over to police in April 2011, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
That led to a police search of Bassinne's Newport Beach home and, according to the OCDA, the discovery of additional child pornography that was similar in nature to what was found in Laguna Niguel. When police learned Bassinne had been a teacher, the probe shifted to his former classrooms. That's when the molestation allegations surfaced.
The OCDA alleges that during a Feb. 15, 2009, class trip, Bassinne molested an unidentified 15-year-old girl by touching her buttocks. Between Nov. 1-4, 2010, he is accused of looking down a 13-year-old girl's shirt. When she tried to move her shirt to block his view, Bassinne allegedly grabbed the shirt to continue his free show.
Prosecutors further allege that while Bassinne taught in Santa Ana, he talked dirty with students and leered at the girls. Anyone who believes they have been a victim or who knows about other incidents is asked to contact Newport Beach Police Det. David Syvock at 949.644.3771, Santa Ana Unified School District Police Sgt. Manuel Chavez at 714.558.5739, or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at 714.347.8794.
If Bassinne is convicted of the charges pending against him, he face up to nine years and four months in state prison. He posted $100,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned June 15 at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
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