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LA teacher accused of molestation

Robert Pimentel (left), with his attorney, Richard Knickerbocker, was arraigned in Long Beach, Calif.

Jeff gritchen/pool

Robert Pimentel (left), with his attorney, Richard Knickerbocker, was arraigned in Long Beach, Calif.

LOS ANGELES — A fourth-grade teacher who worked nearly 40 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing 20 students, a year after another veteran teacher accused of ­molesting nearly two dozen pupils brought national attention to the district and the problem of classroom sex abuse.

After a 10-month investigation, eight felony counts of continual sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child were filed Wednesday against Robert Pimentel of Newport Beach for abuse that allegedly took place at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary in the Wilmington area, officer Christopher No said.

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In addition to the 15 felonies, misdemeanor charges are expected for the remaining incidents, No said. Pimentel’s bail has been set at $12 million. An arraignment date has not been set.

Police and school officials said Pimentel, 57, is also suspected of the sexual abuse of one adult, but they did not say what role, if any, that person had at the school.

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