Authorities have arrested a California biology teacher for allegedly molesting seven students and posting graphic pictures online.
The Costa District Attorney’s Office has charged Anessa Paige Gower, 35, with 29 separate criminal counts stemming from alleged abuse at Making Waves Academy in Richmond.
According to prosecutors, the victims and witnesses told detectives that the abusive behavior began last year and included sexual activities with minors, unwanted touching, and the sharing of graphic sexual pics.
Authorities have not revealed the victims’ ages or genders, but the charter school serves students in grades 5 through 12.
Gower was apprehended at Sacramento International Airport on her way back from a trip to Hawaii last Wednesday.
She is currently being held in Richmond on multiple child molestation charges.
Alton B. Nelson Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Making Waves Academy, stated that Gower was fired after the allegations surfaced.
“During the course of an investigation into allegations that one of our teachers violated school policy, we learned of additional highly concerning allegations involving that teacher’s conduct,” Nelson said in a statement obtained by KRON4.
“We immediately shared that information with authorities who are reviewing the matter. That teacher is no longer employed by Making Waves Academy and we have reached out to parents, students and faculty to provide support where it might be needed.”