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L.A. Unified teacher's assistant accused of sexual battery on students

L.A. Unified teacher's assistant accused of sexual battery on students
Pil Mendez, 34. (Los Angeles Police Department)

A teacher's assistant at a downtown Los Angeles Unified high school was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of inappropriately touching a student, police officials said.

Pil Mendez, 34, was a special education teacher assistant at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex off 3rd Street and Lucas Avenue when a student reported that he had inappropriately touched her and made sexual comments to her several times, the LAPD said in a statement.

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The girl first reported the incident in November, and in the following months, investigators found other students they say Mendez had touched and spoken with.

Mendez was removed from the school as soon as the first accusations were made, the district said in a statement.

He was arrested by the LAPD's sexually exploited child unit on suspicion of sexual battery. He is free on $50,000 bond, jail records show.

LAUSD Supt. Michelle King released a statement regarding Mendez's arrest Thursday morning.

"I strongly believe that adults must be responsible for protecting children. As Superintendent, and as a mother, I take this responsibility very seriously," King said. "Every day, our employees work hard to provide a safe environment for our students. We will continue to make student safety the District's highest priority."

Police are looking for other people who may have had contact with Mendez. Anyone with information is asked to call (877) 527-3247.

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UPDATES:

2:23 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Supt. Michelle King.

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This article was originally published at 9:17 a.m.

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