Former La Jolla Country Day School teacher arrested for felony sexual misconduct

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A former La Jolla Country Day School teacher was arrested in the Santa Clara County Tuesday for sexual misconduct with a minor charges.

Jonathan Sammartino was arrested in San Jose for three charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to a statement from LJCDS.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Sammartino has since posted bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on October 23rd. He faces four years, four months if convicted on all charges.

La Jolla Country Day School learned of Sammartino’s arrest Wednesday via the school’s background check system.

A statement to the alumni on behalf of  La Jolla Country Day School said the following:

Dear LJCDS Alumni,

We recently learned that a former teacher at La Jolla Country Day School has been arrested in the San Jose area for three felony accounts of sexual misconduct with a minor. Jonathan Sammartino taught upper-level social science courses in the Upper School from 2012-2016.

When we were notified of the arrest yesterday morning, we immediately began a conversation with law enforcement and informed our community. The detective shared that the incidents under investigation occurred away from our campus.

From these conversations, I am deeply saddened to share that it has been confirmed by law enforcement that the individual who has come forward to the authorities about this former faculty member is a former LJCDS student. The name of the former student remains unidentified. At this time, law enforcement has informed us that their investigation has not revealed that any other former LJCDS students are involved in this case. We will continue to cooperate with the official investigation.

First and foremost, our heart goes out to the member of our community who has come forward. It is our responsibility at the school to keep our children safe.

As a community rooted in trust and dignity, I am profoundly sorry that this incident has occurred with a person in a position of trust. Please know that the safety and well-being of all of our students, past and present, is our paramount concern. We are urging community members who have information related to this matter to reach out immediately.

Members of the community who have pertinent information to share about this former faculty member are encouraged to contact me directly at gkrahn@ljcds.org or 858-453-3440 ext. 240 or San Diego Detective Sergeant Ron Bailiff at rbailiff@pd.sandiego.gov or 619-531-2781.

Thank you for your trust, patience and support during this difficult time. We appreciate your help and understanding as we learn the facts and continue to focus on providing the safest and healthiest learning environment for our students. This is currently an ongoing police investigation. I will keep you informed as I am able and share what I can when I can, as we must not interfere with the ongoing legal process.

Sammartino is currently a teacher at The Harker School in San Jose and has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

The student involved in the allegations was located in San Diego, The Harker School said.

A statement from the Harker School said the following:

A teacher new to Harker this year, Jonathan Sammartino, was arrested yesterday based on allegations of a sexual assault of a student under 18 years of age at his former school in San Diego. Sammartino, who had just finished his first week of teaching at the upper school, is on administrative leave pending the investigation. We have no information that Sammartino behaved in any inappropriate manner during his brief tenure at Harker.

We are concerned to hear of these charges. We take the safety of our students very seriously, which includes hiring qualified faculty and staff who undergo state and federal fingerprinting and extensive reference checks. 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. The school also routinely conducts programs to ensure the prevention of – and education about – inappropriate employee/student boundaries at all grade levels. The school will continue to work with our students and teachers to ensure a safe environment on our campuses.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Local San Diego News

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