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Salinas counselor arrested on sex, porn charges

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POSTED March 21, 2012 7:36 p.m.

SALINAS  (AP) — Police have arrested a high school counselor whose computer allegedly contained videos of students engaged in sexual activity in his office, authorities said.

Gilbert Olivares, a drug and alcohol counselor at Salinas High School, was first arrested last week on suspicion of inappropriately touching a student, the Monterey County Herald reported Wednesday. The 34-year-old man turned himself in Monday after his second arrest in five days.

He was taken into custody on child pornography charges after police looking at his computer found 14 videos featuring Salinas High students involved in sex acts.

The videos were apparently shot with a hidden cellphone, and Olivares does not appear to be in the room during recording, said Salinas police Sgt. Chris Lane.

Investigators still don't know "how the kids got there," but it appears the students were not aware they were being recorded, Lane said.

Several possible victims have come forward to police, Lane said.

Detectives plan to search thousands of computer files on four computers used by Olivares. Officials say it's likely that more sex and child pornography charges will be added.

Olivares, who is being held at the Monterey County Jail, had worked for Sunrise House, an organization that counsels teens on substance abuse. He was not an employee of the Salinas Union High School District, although he worked at the high school for five years.

Sunrise House declined to comment until the legal process is over, said executive director Jim Rear. A message left at the jail was not immediately returned Wednesday.

In statement, Principal Sascha Heckmann and district officials said they are "deeply saddened" by the news and are taking action to ensure student safety.

The district is cooperating with the investigation, and Olivares will not be allowed back on any district campus, they said.

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