Pass / Fail

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LAUSD phys ed teacher pleads not guilty to charges of molesting 14-year-old girl

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An LAUSD physical education teacher accused of sexual relations with a former student pleaded not guilty today to multiple felony counts of molesting the then-14-year-old girl and evading police during a freeway chase last month.

Kip Richard Arnold, 51, was arraigned today on 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 Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jane Robison.

The Southeast Middle School teacher was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old student 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 July 10 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.

L.A. Unified remains on summer break and Arnold has been placed on unpaid leave; his teaching credential has also been suspended.

Robison said Arnold is being in lieu of $1 million bail and will be in court again Sept. 20 to set a date for his preliminary hearing. 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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