Orange Teacher Jailed; Sex With Students Alleged

Times Staff Writer

A teacher at an Orange charter school has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with two students, officials said Wednesday.

Sarah Bench-Salorio, 28, was questioned at Santiago Charter Middle School and the Orange Police Department before she was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of multiple lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and continual sex acts with a child under 14, said police Sgt. Dave Hill.

She is being held on $1-million bail at Orange County Jail and will be arraigned today in Santa Ana.

The unidentified 13-year-old boys were students in Bench-Salorio’s English and reading class, police said. Authorities do not know if her alleged relationships with the boys were concurrent, but they lasted several months, Hill said.

Police said the incidents occurred at various times and locations, mostly off campus.


The investigation was launched Monday when one of the boys told his parents about the alleged relationship with his teacher. The parents then called police. Detectives learned of the second boy during their investigation into the first case and said there may be more victims.

Bench-Salorio is married to Christopher Salorio, 30, an electrical foreman who garnered 45% of votes but lost a bid for trustee in the Orange Unified School District in the November election. The couple are raising his three siblings -- ages 5, 10 and 14 -- as foster children.

Bench-Salorio, who has taught at the charter school for two years, earned her teaching credential in April 2003.

She was placed on administrative leave Tuesday, said Ed Kissee, assistant superintendent of human resources at Orange Unified. Authorities have notified the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which has suspended her license pending the outcome of the case.

Times staff writer Joel Rubin contributed to this report.