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La Jolla: Former LJCDS teacher arrested for sex crimes with minor

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A former teacher at La Jolla Country Day has been arrested in the Bay Area after being accused of sex crimes with a minor.

Jonathan Sammartino, who is 35-years-old, was taken into custody in San Jose Tuesday.

Sammartino left La Jolla Country Day School in 2016, to teach at two different schools in the Bay Area. Two years later, San Diego Police have charged him with sex crimes against a minor.

In a message to parents, La Jolla Country Day School said in part: "We were notified of the incident today through the school's background check system, which was then verified to us by the police."

San Diego police confirmed they are investigating Sammartino. He is being charged with three felony sexual misconduct charges with a minor. Police would not elaborate if the alleged victim or victims is/are/were students or not.

Sammartino taught AP Social Sciences from 2012-2016. He then taught at the French American International School in San Francisco.

Former La Jolla Country Day students did not want to go on camera, but told News 8 they really liked Sammartino and described him as “holier than thou.”

Sammartino was in his first week as a new teacher of AP Psychology at the Harker School, in San Jose at the time of his arrest.

A spokesperson for the Harker School emailed News 8 a statement that reads in part:

"We have no information that Sammartino behaved in any inappropriate manner during his brief tenure at Harker. In this case, the charges weren't filed until last week, which was well after the school had done its extensive background checks, none of which indicated any cause for concern."

Harker said Sammartino is on administrative leave pending the investigation.

La Jolla Country Day School said police will continue the investigation and will keep the school updated as it receives developments in the case.

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