A former teacher’s assistant at an elementary school in North Hollywood accused of sexually abusing children made his first court appearance on Tuesday.
Lino Cabrera, 27, has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child and five counts of lewd or lascivious acts upon a child, prosecutors said.
Cabrera entered a not guilty plea to the charges, according to the Los Angeles county District Attorney’s Office.
He is being held on $850,000 bail. A booking photo was not released.
Cabrera, who worked at Oxnard Street Elementary School’s computer lab, was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and child annoying following an investigation that began on May 16 with a crime report alleging inappropriate behavior, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
While looking into the allegations, police found there were six victims in total, all students ages 10 or 11, authorities said.
The alleged inappropriate touching took place at the school between September 2016 and last month, according to prosecutors.
Cabrera had been reassigned from the campus “pending the result of the investigation,” principal Kenny Yau said in a letter obtained by KTLA in mid-May.
“As soon as the school was notified of the alleged misconduct the employee was removed from service,” Yau wrote.
On May 16, the same day LAPD began investigating, the mother of a fifth-grader tearfully recalled how she was notified by Yau about the alleged sexual abuse.
“I was called yesterday by the school principal and let me know that one of the teacher’s assistants touched my daughter inappropriately, along with seven other little girls,” she told KTLA.
The Los Angeles Unified School District also responded after the allegations against Cabrera surfaced, saying it was cooperating with LAPD.
“We take all allegations of misconduct very seriously, and remain committed to safety and the well-being of our students,” said Barbara Jones, a public information officer for the district.
Cabrera could face a maximum sentenced of 26 years in prison if convicted as charged.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call LAPD’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit, Juvenile Division, at 213- 486-0580 between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. During non-business hours, callers can contact LAPD at 1-877-527-3247.
Anonymous tips can also be left through Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-800-222-8477. texting to phone number 274637 with a cellphone with a message that begins with the letters “LAPD,” or visiting LAPDOnline.org and clicking “webtips.”
KTLA’s Dianne Sanchez contributed to this story.