LOS ANGELES (AP) — A high school teacher's aide accused of sending inappropriate Internet messages to a 15-year-old student was arrested Monday on suspicion of contacting her with the intent to commit a sexual offense, the FBI said.
Alain Salas, 40, was taken into custody at John C. Fremont Senior High School. It was the fourth child sex-related arrests of a Los Angeles Unified School District employee in recent weeks, but FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said there was no evidence that the cases were connected.
Salas, who reportedly also helped coach girls' volleyball, remained jailed without bail. He was not immediately charged with any crime.
The FBI informed the Los Angeles Unified School District of Salas' arrest, but the bureau did not provide any details, Superintendent John Deasy told KNX radio.
A telephone message left for Deasy on Tuesday by The Associated Press wasn't immediately returned.
The FBI began investigating in December after an "inappropriate online communication was brought to our attention" but it took time to find the possible victim and even more time to determine a suspect, Eimiller said.
Salas allegedly sent to and received Internet messages from the student that involved references to sexual content, but investigators were still trying to determine whether such contact actually occurred, Eimiller said.
A school official was contacted in December in an effort to contact the possible victim, she said.
"We had not yet identified Mr. Salas," Eimiller said.
"There's a legal conflict there," she added. "We get allegations every single day about alleged exploitation of children and much of it is not true, and it has to be looked into before we can consider someone a suspect."
Salas was arrested after investigators determined there was enough evidence to hold him, Eimiller said.
Fremont school is about two miles from Miramonte Elementary School, where authorities said two former teachers committed lewd acts with children in their classrooms.
Mark Berndt was arrested Jan. 30 on 23 felony counts that included allegations that he fed his semen to Miramonte Elementary School students during games in his classroom from 2005 to 2010. Martin Springer has pleaded not guilty to committing three lewd acts on one girl in class in 2009.
Elsewhere in the district, Paul Adame, a janitor at Germain Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley, was arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act with a child on a campus.
The Los Angeles school district has more than 664,000 students in kindergarten through high school and more than 100,000 employees.