Whitney High teacher suspected of child molestation
A physics teacher at Whitney High School was arrested Monday after Rocklin police officers received information regarding an unlawful intimate relationship between the teacher and a juvenile student, according to a report from the Rocklin Police Department.
The information came from the 17-year-old teen’s mother on Sept. 15, according to Lt. Lon Milka with the Rocklin Police Department.
Police detectives served a search warrant on the teacher’s residence Monday morning and subsequently arrested Matthew Yamamoto, 33, of Rocklin.
He was arrested for child molestation and for arranging a meeting with a minor for purposes of committing a lewd act.
The school initiated the investigation based on information it had received from students, according to Kevin Brown, Rocklin Unified School District superintendent, “and then, in collaboration with the local police department, an arrest was made.”
Milka would not comment on the nature of the relationship between Yamamoto and the student, “but I can release that there was inappropriate contact between the two, and we’ll be further investigating the seriousness of that.”
Brown said he will recommend to the district board of trustees that Yamamoto be placed on administrative leave without pay, effective Monday. The board meets Wednesday night and was scheduled to recognize Yamamoto as one of the district’s 2013 Teachers of the Year. Brown indicated the agenda item will be tabled.
“We remain supportive of the family and the victim and we obviously are extremely angered and disappointed that this type of situation has happened in our school district,” Brown said, adding the district will use every means possible to ensure that justice is served.
Milka said investigators do not believe the teen was Yamamoto’s student. Yamamoto, a Whitney High teacher for six years, teaches physics and is the robotics club adviser. According to the school’s website, he graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 2001 with a degree in mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering.
Yamamoto was booked into the Placer County Jail and was held on $100,000 bail. Jail records show he was released Tuesday and listed as ineligible for bail.
Rocklin police detectives are involved in the ongoing investigation and seeking information regarding possible additional victims. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Rocklin Police Department at (916) 625-5441.