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California Briefing / Lennox

School custodian held in abuse case

February 21, 2009|Ari B. Bloomekatz

A custodian at Moffett Elementary School in Lennox has been arrested on suspicion of molesting two girls, ages 7 and 8, at the school, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Police said Bernard Lobjois, 57, stopped an 8-year-old in a bathroom Feb. 10 and fondled her over her clothes. Lobjois allegedly told her that he would harm her family if she told anyone and hit her in the face when she tried to get away, sheriff's officials said. The girl's mother noticed a mark on her face, and she told her about the incident.

Lobjois is also accused of molesting the same child and a 7-year-old two months earlier in a bathroom, officials said. In that Dec. 10, 2008, incident, he "fondled both girls over and under their clothing. Lobjois again threatened to harm the victims if they reported him" and slapped the 8-year-old, the Sheriff's Department said.

Lobjois was arrested Feb. 13 and charged with lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, criminal threats and cruelty to a child. He was released a day later on $100,000 bond.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

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