RICHMOND (CBS SF) – A Richmond High School teacher was charged with multiple sex crimes Wednesday afternoon in connection with an alleged relationship he had with an underage student, according to authorities.

The teacher, identified Wednesday as 26-year-old Israel Ayala Lopez, was arrested Monday on suspicion of having “an inappropriate relationship” with an underage student, police said.

Richmond teacher Israel Ayala Lopez

Richmond teacher Israel Ayala Lopez charged with sex crimes (Richmond Police Department)

Police notified the West Contra Costa Unified School District, which is cooperating in the ongoing investigation. Later Tuesday, district spokesman Marcus Walton said the teacher had been placed on leave.

“We are saddened and disappointed to learn about this alleged behavior,” a statement from district officials said.

“The safety of our students is our top priority and we will continue working with our community partners to ensure all of the children we serve feel safe and supported,” district officials said.

The district confirmed Lopez had been a physical education teacher since 2017.  The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple charges against Lopez at 2 p.m. Wednesday. They include four charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (who is under 16) and four charges of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child for sexual gratification where the child is age 14-15 and the suspect is 10 years or older than the child.

Bail for Lopez was set at $400,000, according to Richmond police.

 

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