A Simi Valley, Calif., elementary school teacher has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a student who was under the age of 14. Malia Brooks was being held on $2 million bail Wednesday, the Simi Valley police department reported.
The sixth grade teacher from Garden Grove Elementary School IMPACT Academy turned herself over to authorities on Tuesday, CBS Los Angeles reported. Garden Grove has grades kindergarten through 6, but authorities wouldn’t release the name of the child or say if the child was one of Brooks’ students.
“The school and District administration have fully cooperated with the Simi Valley Police investigation. Due to legal constraints regarding confidential personnel matters, the details of this investigation and the victims cannot be disclosed,” said Assistant Superintendent Cary Dritz, according to CBS Los Angeles.
The allegations of Brooks having an inappropriate relationship with a student were first heard in February 2013, with officials saying the relationship lasted for four months and began toward the end of 2012. That’s when parents were informed that an investigation had begun.
The 32-year-old pleaded not guilty to charges of lewd acts upon a child, oral copulation of a person under 14 years of age and three counts of genital penetration by a foreign object, CBS Los Angeles reported.
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Parents initially didn’t know which teacher was being investigated but they are now aware of the accusations against Brooks. Her lawyer Ron Bamieh claims the 32-year-old suffers from mental illness. Starting June 5, Brooks resigned from the school district after being employed with Simi Valley Unified School District for nearly a decade.
"We've had her diagnosed and she's in treatment," the Examiner quoted Bamieh as saying. "My guess is a lot of the charges precipitated from that illness."