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UPDATE: LAUSD teacher arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing 20 children

NBC Los Angeles

A file photo of a police car outside George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington.

UPDATE: 10p.m.  LAPD now says 20 children were allegedly abused.

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Los Angeles Unified School District fourth grade teacher Robert Pimental, 57, was arrested Wednesday by LAPD for allegedly sexually abusing 19 children and one adult. Pimental has been employed by the LAUSD since 1974.

“This investigation began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth grade teacher during school at the elementary," said LAPD spokesman Christopher No.

Police say the abuse happened at the school, according to the Associated Press.

Pimental was placed on paid administrative leave from his position at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary when the investigation started. The school's principal was also removed shortly after the investigation began.

Pimental is being held on $12 million bail at the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center. His arraignment date hasn't been set, according to the AP. Pimental resides in Newport Beach.

"The District Attorney’s Office has filed counts of violation of 288.5 Penal Code, which is Sexual Abuse, and seven counts of 288(a), which is Lewd Acts Upon A Child," No said. The DA's office filed a total of 15 counts against Pimentel Wednesday.

School officials said when they learned of the allegations, Pimental was immediately removed from campus and parents and state credentialing authorities were informed, the Associated Press reports.

Detectives with the LAPD Juvenile Division's Sexually Exploited Child Unit began the investigation on March 15, 2012.

This story has been updated.

RELATED: At Torre Jr. Elementary, 5 students allege molestation

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