A former teacher at a Catholic girls' high school on the Westside of Los Angeles has been arrested on suspicion of felony sexual assault in connection with incidents that occurred between 2005 and 2007, authorities said Wednesday.
Elizabeth Brewer, 39, was arrested Wednesday morning after a “lengthy investigation” into an alleged incidents that involved one of her underage students at Notre Dame Academy in Rancho Park, according to the Culver City Police Department.
The alleged victim came forward within the last several months, Culver City police Lt. Jason Sims said.
However, in a letter to parents sent Wednesday, President Nancy Coomis said she first learned of the allegations several years ago after the student had graduated and Brewer was no longer at the school.
The allegations were reported to police immediately, Coomis said.
“We have cooperated with the police investigation and will continue to do so,” Coomis wrote. "School personnel are screened on their ability to work safely with minors, are provided information to help recognize and deal with issues of child sexual abuse, and are given guidance and instruction on appropriate professional conduct with students. Every student has the right to be respected and treated with the dignity befitting a child of God."
The all-female school, a Catholic college preparatory academy found in 1949, had about 375 students in 2013, according to a profile on its website.
Several felony charges have been recommended to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Officer for filing against Brewer, police said.
Brewer was a visiting assistant professor of education at Loyola Marymount University, where her research included work on the “role of technology as a tool for teaching students about the dangers and consequences of cyber-bullying behaviors as well as the role of teachers in this process,” a 2011-12 biography stated in a university publication.
The biography stated that Brewer worked at a "private, Catholic high school for six years" and then was an instructor and research analyst in the Student Affairs Information and Research Office at UCLA before going to LMU. She resigned from LMU in September 2013, a university spokeswoman said.
Brewer was released at 2 p.m. Wednesday on $400,000 bail, according to county inmate records.
She lives in Culver City with her partner, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A neighbor broke into tears when she learned that Brewer was arrested, saying the woman was a good friend who helped take her to the store.
Another neighbor described Brewer as kind and caring.