Sherman Oaks teacher charged with lewd acts with a minor

A Sherman Oaks middle school teacher arrested this week is facing charges of lewd acts with a minor, authorities said.

Samantha Arizabal, 24, was taken into custody Tuesday after detectives received a report of alleged ongoing inappropriate sexual conduct while she was working at Ivy Bound Academy, a public charter school, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

On the same day, Arizabal was charged with three counts of a lewd acts on a child under age 14 and one count of distributing or showing pornography to a minor, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

She pleaded not guilty to all charges and is due back in court in May, court records show.

Stephen Bluestein, executive director of Ivy Bound, called Arizabal’s alleged conduct “reprehensible” in a statement.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the student and student’s family who have been impacted by this,” he said in the statement. “As always, our focus is on providing our students with a safe learning environment and the academic and developmental support they need to be successful students at Ivy Bound and beyond.”

Arizabal began working at the school in 2020, police said.

According to its website, the math-, science- and technology-focused school is a tuition-free, public charter institution authorized by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s executive board of directors. It spans fifth through eighth grade.

Detectives with LAPD’s juvenile division said they are looking for potential additional victims.

Bluestein said school officials are cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation.

Since her arrest, Arizabal was released on $600,000 bail, inmate records show.

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