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Santa Monica teacher faces new accusations

May 06, 2008|Tami Abdollah | Times Staff Writer

A 60-year-old teacher who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of molesting four Santa Monica middle school students, may face additional accusations, authorities said Monday.

"We have had additional people make themselves known to us; we're not specifying how many or who those victims are. We do believe there are others out there," said Santa Monica Police Lt. Darrell Lowe.

Lincoln Middle School officials brought in counselors to help ease concerns of students and parents over the arrest of Thomas Arthur Beltran.

Beltran, who is married and has worked at the school for two decades, teaches English as a second language. The Los Angeles resident remains jailed on $1.1-million bail.Beltran is to be formally charged and arraigned today.

Police said the alleged molestations occurred during school hours and that at least one suspected abuse continued for more than a year.

About 200 parents gathered in the school auditorium Monday evening to discuss the "crisis situation" with school officials. Many parents said they were happy with the school's response, but others said they were not.

"This is the cream of the crop. We're told you cannot get any better than Lincoln Middle School," said Nereida Gilbuena, the mother of a seventh-grade student. "That's what we're told and they failed us."

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tami.abdollah@latimes.com

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