City prosecutors Monday charged a Tarzana-area middle school teacher with more than half a dozen counts of misdemeanor child molestation in connection with the alleged sexual battery of three girls, authorities said.
Jason Leon, 32, who taught at Portola Middle School, is being held at Van Nuys Jail in lieu of $35,000 bail. He faces four counts of child molestation and three counts of battery. If convicted on all charges, Leon could face a maximum sentence of up to 51/2 years and $26,000 in fines, the Los Angeles city attorney's office said.
Leon is expected to be arraigned in Van Nuys Superior Court on Tuesday unless he posts bail, authorities said.
"Working with LAPD and the school district, this office will aggressively prosecute adults who prey upon our children," said City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. "Our schools should be one of the safest of places in the community for our children, and I will do everything within my authority to ensure their safety."
Leon was taken into custody Monday morning by LAPD officers after an eight-month investigation with L.A. Unified School Police.
The investigation began after a 13-year-old female student at Portola Middle School reported that Leon touched her inappropriately on the last day of class, June 15, 2012.