RICHMOND, Calif. – A California school teacher was charged with 29 counts of child molestation on Friday, according to prosecutors.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against Anessa Paige Gower, a now former teacher at Making Waves Academy in Richmond.
Gower was taken into custody on Wednesday by the Richmond Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office at Sacramento International Airport as she returned from a trip to Hawaii, the Washington Examiner reported.
During the investigation, seven children reported Gower engaging in sexual acts, inappropriate touching, and sharing sexually explicit photos, according to the district attorney’s office. Gower was employed at Making Waves Academy when the first allegations surfaced in 2021.
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“During the course of an investigation into allegations that one of our teachers violated school policy, we learned of additional highly concerning allegations involving that teacher’s conduct,” CEO Alton Nelson told the Examiner. “We immediately shared that information with authorities who are reviewing the matter.”
“There is nothing more important than the health, safety, and well-being of our students,” Nelson told the news outlet. “That teacher is no longer employed by Making Waves Academy, and we have reached out to parents, students, and faculty to provide support where it might be needed.”
Making Waves Academy is a combination middle school and high school.