Police arrested Mira Vista Elementary School teacher Ron Guinto, 32, on Wednesday morning. Police said Guinto was being held on more than a dozen charges
Police arrested Mira Vista Elementary School teacher Ron Guinto, 32, on Wednesday morning. Police said Guinto was being held on more than a dozen charges of sexually abusing students at his former employer, Richmond's Making Waves Academy. (Courtesy Richmond Police Department)

RICHMOND -- A seventh-grade English and science teacher at Mira Vista Elementary School is being held on $1.4 million after he was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexual abuse, police said.

Ron Guinto, 32, faces 11 counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, two counts of forced oral copulation and one count of assault with intent to commit sodomy, said Richmond police Lt. Andre Hill.

An investigation into the charges began in November, when students at Making Waves Academy, a charter school in Richmond, told police of possible of sexual misconduct involving at least two students between the ages of 11 and 13, Hill said.

But while an investigation was underway, Guinto began teaching at Mira Vista in December.

Hill said as soon as the police department learned Guinto was teaching elsewhere, an arrest warrant was issued.

According to Marin Trujillo, spokesman for the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Guinto went through a fingerprinting process and a background check. Guinto is also not listed as a sex offender on a state Megan's Law website.

"Nothing came back preventing him from working with children," Trujillo said. "The safety of our students is our number one priority. We did notify parents that the arrest took place, but we don't know many facts ourselves."

Officials from Mira Vista Elementary School and Making Waves Academy were not immediately available for comment.

Trujillo said Guinto is on administrative leave while the investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

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