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Suspected of improper communication with student
Jared Rio mug
Jared Rio - photo by Photo courtesy Manteca Police Department

A former Sierra High School teacher was arrested by Manteca Police detectives on Wednesday morning on charges of annoying and molesting a child, capping off a five-month investigation into a claim that surfaced this past summer.

Jared Rio, 37, who taught the leadership class at Sierra High, was placed on administrative leave on July 28 after allegations that he had improper communications with a student surfaced the day prior. After a short investigation, Rio was terminated — he has not been on campus this current school year.

The authorities were notified of the discovery, and after an investigation the Manteca Police Department turned the matter over to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office for consideration. After deliberation an arrest warrant was granted, and Manteca Police investigators took him into custody without issue on Wednesday morning and he was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of annoying and molesting a child.

Rio posted the $25,000 bail on Wednesday afternoon and is currently not in custody.

“MUSD strongly encourages everyone to continue to work together to keep children safe,” Manteca Unified said in statement released after news of Rio’s arrest became public. “The safety and well-being of our students is always highest priority.”

A tweet from Sierra High School from several years ago congratulating Rio for being named a “Teacher of the Year” from the Veterans of Foreign Wars had been deleted by Wednesday night.

Although the Manteca Police don’t believe that there were additional victims of Rio’s actions, anybody with additional information is encouraged to contact Detective Robert Smigelski.

“The Manteca Police Department and the Manteca Unified School District are dedicated to the safety and welfare of the students and staff at MUSD,” Manteca Police Sergeant Mitch Ellis said in a statement released after Rio’s arrest. “We take these allegations very seriously and investigate them to the fullest extent.

“We are thankful for the cooperation and swift actions of the Manteca Unified School District in this matter.”

Police said that additional information about the nature of the charges against Rio is not available at this time.


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.