Teacher sent explicit, inappropriate messages to middle schooler, authorities say

A 39-year-old Moreno Valley middle school teacher was arrested this week after authorities said she sent explicit and inappropriate messages to a student.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department received a tip regarding a teacher at Palm Middle School on Monday afternoon. After conducting interviews, investigators searched the home of teacher Emily Wentworth in Nuevo to collect digital media, sheriff’s officials said.

Wentworth was then arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of distributing harmful matter to a minor, specifically a male student at Palm Middle School, authorities said.

She was released Wednesday on $5,000 bail, custody records show.

Emily Wentworth
Emily Wentworth, 39, was arrested this week on suspicion of distributing harmful matter to a minor.
(Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

Wentworth has been placed on leave, according to Anahi Velasco, a public information officer for the Moreno Valley Unified School District. She has worked at Palm Middle School since 2014, most recently as a resource specialist teacher, Velasco said.

Velasco declined to say whether Wentworth has faced disciplinary action before, citing privacy and confidentiality laws.

“We want parents and families to understand that we take this matter very seriously,” Velasco said in an email. “All Moreno Valley Unified School District teachers go through a background check, and she was cleared prior to employment with us.”


Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at (951) 486-6700.

“The safety and security of our students is always our top priority, and we will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a thorough investigation,” Velasco said.