• Stephen Eugene Thai from San Jose, California, was arrested Wednesday
  • Thai was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail without bail
  • Investigators believe there could be additional victims

An elementary school teacher from California has been arrested for sexually abusing two 7-year-old students during an after-school art program at a school in San Jose.

The 33-year-old suspect identified as Stephen Eugene Thai was arrested Wednesday on charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, contacting a minor to commit a sex crime, and annoying and molesting a child under the age of 18, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Thai's arrest comes a month after investigators received complaints that two of his two students were sexually assaulted by him between 2016 and 2017. Sheriff's Office Sexual Assault Investigations Unit launched an investigation based on the complaint.

Investigators found out that Thai also contacted the two victims through social media and attempted to communicate with them in 2020.

"After a thorough investigation by detectives, an arrest warrant was issued for Thai," the news release said.

However, investigators did not reveal the name of the school where the alleged abuse happened. It is also unclear if Thai was employed at the school at the time of the arrest, Mercury News reported.

Thai was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail without bail, reports said.

Meanwhile, investigators believe there could be additional victims. Anyone who knows about any children who had inappropriate contact with the suspect has been asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office at (408) 808- 4500. Sheriff's Office Investigative Services provides an anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431 or at

In a similar case of sexual abuse, a former teacher from a school in Palm Beach County, Florida, was sentenced to prison for having sex with a 16-year-old girl inside a classroom closet.

The suspect, 41-year-old Daniel Norment, was sentenced to three years in jail after he accepted two "best interest" pleas. Through the plea deal, he accepted charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one count of offense against students by authority figures. Norment groomed the unidentified child while she attended middle school and the girl visited him after she entered high school.

Representational image (Classroom)
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / DeltaWorks)