Authorities in California have arrested a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old student at the special needs school where he had been employed as an instructional aide.
According to KFSN, 24-year-old Elder Jimmy Lore was fired from his position at Creative Alternatives School following news of the allegations.
As the Fresno Bee reported, the suspect was arrested on Feb. 21 on suspicion of three counts of lewd and lascivious acts against a minor, charges he denies.
Fresno Police Sgt. Daniel Macias said last month that authorities received a report from the school that someone at the location engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student.
That alert was reportedly raised by another member of the school’s staff who was able to find out enough information directly from the student to warrant a call to authorities.
Though the victim attended a school for students with special needs, it is unclear what or how severe those disability are. One legal analyst said the answer to those questions could play a big role in sentencing, should Lor be convicted.
“The penalty goes from five years to seven years or nine years if the victim is developmentally disabled,” said Tony Capozzi. “If there isn’t a disability, the normal sentence is 18 months, two years or three years, so there’s a big difference in the penalties depending upon the status of the victim.”
Creative Alternatives School has not publicly responded to the case.
In court last week, Lor pleaded not guilty to the charges.