A seventh-grade science teacher’s alleged sexual assault of a young female relative was not related to his employment at a Placentia school, the school district emphasized Thursday.
The announcement from the Placentia-Yorba Linda School District, where 36-year-old Christopher Millette has worked since 2003, came a day after prosecutors asked for the public’s help identifying possible additional victims in the case.
Millete, of Fullerton, has been charged with one felony count of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger, and two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14.
The victim was a female relative under age 10 and did not attend Valadez Middle School Academy, where Millette teaches seventh-grade, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Between Aug. 1, 2012, and Dec. 28, 2014, Millette was accused of sexually penetrating “Jane Doe” and committing lewd acts upon the victim twice, the DA’s office said Wednesday.
Fullerton police, who arrested Millette Dec. 31, said two days later that the alleged crimes were “not related” to the school where he teaches. The Fullerton Police Department also said there were no “known victims associated with his employment.”
A statement sent to KTLA Thursday morning by Kevin Lee, assistant superintendent of personnel for the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, reiterated that Millette’s “alleged crime is not related to his employment with our school district.”
Millette has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence, according to the statement. Parents were notified of his arrest in a phone message before the end of winter break, and staff were on hand to provide counseling or support for returning students, the statement said.
“His arrest on New Year’s Eve for alleged child molestation both shocked and saddened us,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to the victim and the family involved in this matter.”
The school district was working with its legal counsel and state teacher credentialing commission to take “all necessary actions to protect the students and the interests of the district,” according to the statement.
Millette, who was being held on $1 million bail, was expected in court Thursday morning. He faces up to 19 years to life in state prison as well as mandatory lifetime sex offender registration, if convicted.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to contact DA’s Investigator Kelly Core at 714-347-8794.