Authorities said a La Mirada substitute teacher arrested on suspicion of lewd contact with a student met the girl in a classroom and soon developed a relationship with her on Facebook.
The Facebook friendship evolved into teacher Taylor Welch “sexting” the girl and sending her sexually graphic images, detectives said.
Welch, 22, was taken into custody Tuesday by detectives with the Los Angeles County sheriff’s special victims unit. He is accused of inappropriately touching the 13-year-old alleged victim in the classroom.
Welch was a substitute teacher at Arlie F. Hutchinson Middle School, which is part of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. He was being held in lieu of $140,000 bail.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Scott said investigators learned of the alleged abuse when the victim showed photographs of the suspect, which were stored on her cellphone, to a friend.
School district officials said they were notified Tuesday morning of Welch’s arrest and were cooperating with the investigation at Hutchinson Middle School.
Welch is the second substitute teacher in the district to be arrested this year. In March, Ted Nishihara was arrested on suspicion of molesting a student in a classroom at Los Coyotes Middle School.
Scott said detectives believe it is possible there are additional victims and urge anyone who may have been a victim to contact investigators at 1-877-710-5273 (LASD) or firstname.lastname@example.org