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Lincoln Middle School Teacher Arrested for Molesting Students

By Lookout Staff

May 5 -- A Lincoln Middle School teacher was arrested Saturday on suspicion of molesting four 12-year-old girls during school hours, one of them for as long as a year, police said Sunday. Other students may have been molested.

Thomas Arthur Beltran, 60, who taught English as a second language at the prestigious public school for some 20 years, was arrested and booked at Santa Monica jail for child molestation, police said. His bail has been set at $1.1 million.

The arrest was made after a 12-year-old girl, accompanied by her parents, told police Friday that she had been molested by one of her teachers.

“During the interview with the victim it became clear that there are possibly additional victims,” said Lt Alex Padilla, the Police Department spokesman.

Detectives working closely with representatives from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District were able to identify the teacher, Padilla said.

After interviewing Beltran's other students, police identified three other alleged victims, said Lt. Dan Salerno.

"We believe there are more victims, and we are asking anyone who is a victim to come forward," Salerno said.

Parents and school employees said they were shocked by the arrest of Beltran, whom they described as a nice person and hard-working teacher who had organized multi-cultural events at the school on Santa Monica’s upscale north side.

A resident of Los Angeles, Beltran has been married 35 years and lost his 30-year-old daughter, who was also a teacher, to cancer four years ago, according to press reports.

He was arrested in the 6100 block of Centinela Avenue in Culver City, police said.

Superintendent Dianne Talarico and district staff are working closely with the police in this ongoing investigation, District officials said.

“Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of our children and our entire Lincoln Middle School community,” Talarico said in a statement Sunday.

“We will make every effort to ensure that our students, staff, families and community are supported during this difficult time,” she said.

After a meeting Sunday with district staff, Lincoln Middle School administration, staff and PTA, officials decided the campus would be open on Monday, Talarico said.

Counselors will available at the school throughout the week, and District senior staff will be available on campus to assist and support staff and students, she said.

For more information, parents should call the Superintendent’s Office at 310.450.8338, ext. 241 or 220.

This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with additional information should call Santa Monica Police Department Detectives at 310.458.8451 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or the Watch Commander at 310.458.8427 at any time.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).





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