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Prosecutor Says SJ Teacher Had Multiple Sex Abuse Victims

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35-year-old Craig Chandler, a teacher at O.B. Whaley Elementary School in San Jose, is accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child. (San Jose Police Department)

35-year-old Craig Chandler, a teacher at O.B. Whaley Elementary School in San Jose, is accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child. (San Jose Police Department)

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A San Jose elementary school teacher charged with lewd acts on a child is being accused of having multiple victims, prosecutors said Friday.

Craig Chandler, 35, appeared in court in a brown jumpsuit Friday afternoon to be arraigned on two felony charges of lewd acts on a child.

Chandler was arrested on Tuesday night at his home in San Jose on suspicion of several counts of aggravated sexual assault involving a child in the 7- to 8-year-old age range.

Prosecutor Alison Philo Friday said multiple victims have been identified.

“We have probable cause to believe that more than one victim was involved,” Philo said.

She said Chandler could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the charges. She would not comment on the children’s gender and age, but said they are all younger than 14.

Chandler’s attorney, Steven Clark, said that Chandler would “deny the allegations vehemently.”

“Mr. Chandler’s very devastated by these allegations,” he said. “We asked that the police reports remain under seal until we have an opportunity to review the case and the judge has agreed to do that.”

Chandler is suspected of committing at least one of the crimes against an O.B. Whaley Elementary School student at the campus at 2655 Alvin Ave. between August and October, police said.

Investigators have not released the child’s age or gender.

According to police, Chandler teaches a second and third grade combination class at O.B. Whaley and has been teaching at the school for the past nine years.

The Evergreen School District posted a statement on its website on Wednesday stating that Chandler has been placed on leave “in accordance with district protocol.”

The statement read, “We want to assure the community that the safety and well-being of our children is our primary concern.”

Chandler’s next hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 31.

He is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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