LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher has been arrested for a sexual act on at least one child.
Newport Beach resident Robert Pimental, 57, was arrested Wednesday. He taught at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington.
An investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department began last March after several girls told their parents they had been inappropriately touched by a 4th-grade teacher. The LAPD's investigation revealed a total of 20 victims, including 19 children and one adult victim.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has filed eight counts of continuous sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child against Pimental. He was held on $12 million bond.
The LAPD says it took time to build the case against Pimental.
"Due to the number of victims involved in this case, that's what took so long for it to culminate," said Det. Gus Villanueva with the LAPD.
Laney Gonzalez, 13, a former student at the school, wasn't one of Pimental's students, but she said she thought his behavior was odd.
"During lunchtime, he would have most of the girls in his classroom, playing songs for them and talking to them," said Gonzalez. "He would hug most of my friends."
Pimental was removed from the classroom on March 16, 2012, a day after the investigation was launched. The LAUSD said dismissal proceedings were initiated, but Pimental chose to retire. He was employed with the district since 1974.