Los Angeles Police detectives on Friday afternoon arrested 47-year-old high school teacher Peter Christopher Gomez for felony sexual assault. Gomez was arrested in Bell, where he teaches drama and history at Bell Senior High School. He's a resident of La Habra.
In a statement, the LAPD says the alleged sexual assaults occurred in 1999, when Gomez was a teacher at Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park. The LAPD and its Northeast Sexual Assault Detail asked for the public's help in "locating additional students who may have been victims" of the teacher. The police aren't currently releasing details of the charges because their investigation is ongoing.
The Los Angeles Unified School District said in its own statement that Gomez had worked for the district since 1996, starting at Benjamin Franklin High, then moving to Bell High School in 2005. The District added it had notified parents and guardians Friday of the arrest.
"We are cooperating with the Los Angeles Police Department," Superintendent John Deasy said. "The teacher will not be allowed near students prior to the conclusion of the investigation, and the resolution of charges."
The LAPD says bail for Gomez has been set at $950,000. It asked anyone with information regarding Gomez to contact detectives Lina Teague or Michelle Gomez at Northeast Division, Sexual Assault Detail at (323) 344-5742. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-22-8477).
Information regarding Gomez' legal representation was not immediately available.