District to review whether other child abuse cases went unreported

Tami Abdollah:

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials are trying to make sure no other child abuse allegations went unreported to the district, in the wake of allegations that a middle-school teacher charged with molesting five students had been investigated but not charged two years earlier.
“We need to do a districtwide assessment on all our windows and all our doors, and find out if our classrooms are safe as they can be,” Assistant Supt. Mike Matthews told more than 100 parents at a meeting Thursday night at Lincoln Middle School. “We have begun that process.”
Thomas Arthur Beltran, 60, who is married and worked at Lincoln for two decades, was arrested Saturday after a 12-year-old student told her parents he had abused her, and they notified police. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 14 felony counts of sexual molestation: eight counts of a lewd act on a child, three counts of continuous sexual abuse and three counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object on a child under 14. All the alleged incidents occurred in Beltran’s classroom, police said.
The charges include an incident in 2006 that was reported to the principal; at the time, police investigated, but prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to file charges.