Riverdale High School is starting off its new year on a low note.
Teacher and band director, Steven Montes, is accused of recording video images of girls as they changed clothes in a classroom. Fresno County Sheriff's deputies arrested the 25-year old on Friday. He is out of jail after posting bail.
According to investigators, last week during band practice at Riverdale High School, Montes asked some of his teenage girls to try on some different uniforms in a classroom. A not so innocent request says Sheriff Margaret Mims.
“He had previously set up the recording devices in the class that filmed the students while they were changing clothes,” said Fresno Co. Sheriff Margaret Mims.
An observant girl discovered a camera and immediately reported it to the school. Sheriff's deputies were then called in.
“He did not resist arrest. He was questioned. He was cooperative,” said Sheriff Mims.
Investigators have seized and are analyzing several of Montes' computers and other media devices.
“It's a shame that it happens, but I know it does. Here in Riverdale it was really a shock because nothing goes on in Riverdale,” said Charlotte Weems, an upset resident.
Charlotte Weems is upset to see yet another valley teacher alleged of trying to take advantage of his students. She's demanding better supervision.
“Even if they do have a good record, just watch their actions with the kids,” said Weems.
Riverdale Unified Superintendent, Pete Faragia, says Montes is no longer employed by the district.
“It's important to note that creating a trusting and safe environment is a top priority for our district and we will continue to do that, we'll work very closely with family and students affected by this situation,” said Pete Faragia, Superintendent of Riverdale Unified School District.
Montes worked at Riverdale HS all of last year. Prior to that he was at Divisadero Middle School in Visalia. It's not clear if he conducted any criminal behavior on that campus.
“We have to check into that and we're coordinating our investigation with the city of Visalia,” said Sheriff Mims.
So far, only two victims have come forward. If you or someone you know has had inappropriate contact with Montes, report it by calling Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867).
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