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LAUSD teacher charged with sexually molesting former student, evading police

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An L.A. Unified physical education teacher who careened off the freeway following a police chase was charged today with evading police and multiple felony counts of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Kip Richard Arnold, 51, remains in stable condition at the hospital, but was charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child who was 14, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object; plus one count of evading an officer, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Diana Martinez.

Since Arnold remains hospitalized he will not be arraigned until he is cleared by doctors and released, said Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jane Robison.

"The minute he's released [from the hospital] they'll arrest him and he'll be in court," Robison said.

Arnold, a Southeast Middle School teacher, was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl between June and September 2005. The woman, now an adult, reported the incident to the Bell Police Department on July 5.

According to the felony complaint for arrest warrant, Arnold "willfully, unlawfully and lewdly commit[ed] a lewd and lascivious act upon and with the body of" the 14-year-old "with the intent of arousing, appealing to, and gratifying [his] lust, passions and sexual desires."

Bell police detectives said they were preparing to arrest the Lakewood resident Tuesday and approached his black pickup truck to question him. Arnold allegedly made a comment about being suicidal and fled, leading police on a multi-freeway chase for about 40 minutes, said Bell Police Lt. Ty Henshaw.

The chase ended when Arnold careened over an embankment in Rolling Hills Estates and crashed into a building 70 feet below, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $1 million. If he is convicted, Arnold will face up to seven years in state prison.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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