YUMA, Ariz.- A school teacher in Calexico is in jail after police arrested him for touching and fondling several female students, and investigators believe there may be more victims out there.
Tommy Obeso, 56, teaches psychology and sociology at Aurora High School.
Police say students accuse Obeso of kissing them and touching them on their breasts at school.
Police moved in on Obeso after they conducted a sting operation in which he arranged to have sex with a female student last Friday.
One of Obeso's students says he is shocked. The high school sophomore says while he's heard rumors about his teacher touching female students, he never saw it happen and at least for now, he says he stands by his teacher's innocence.
"I wouldn't expect that to happen to him, he's such a good teacher," said Elijah Ayala.
Ayala says 56-year old Tommy Obeso is one of his favorite teachers.
"I thought he was a good teacher so I thought it was dumb what they were saying about him. Even from what they told us today… I still think it's dumb," he said.
Ayala says police and school officials visited his class this morning to tell students Obeso, a psychology and sociology teacher, who has been at the school less than a year, is not coming back to school.
"And that he's still in jail and that if we have any information about him to report to them," said Ayala.
Calexico Police say investigators conducted a sting operation where they were acting like a high school female student and talking to Obeso through Facebook.
They say Obeso agreed to meet with who he thought was a 17-year-old student to have sex; that's when police busted him.
We asked Ayala if he's ever witnessed Obeso inappropriately kissing female students on their neck or grabbing their butt as he is accused of doing.
"I heard… he slapped some girls butt and like he was sexually harassing people," said Ayala.
Calexico Police Detective Manuel Ceja says investigators believe there may be more victims out there and that's why police are urging other victims or anyone else with information to come forward.
"It did get us by surprise it was nothing obviously we expected from a small knit community," said Ceja.
"If there's any potential victims out there, we would like to hear from them. Even if they believe in their eyes that they weren't victimized or it's something petty, in all reality maybe it was something that's a felonious crime."
When it comes to a teacher violating trust, Ayala's mom says she's concerned by the news of Obeso's arrest.
"I just heard right now what he did and it is pretty scary," said Yvonne Alvarado.
As of Monday, Obeso remains behind bars. A judge set his bond at $100,000.
Police say they have filed a complaint with the Imperial County District Attorney's office for three felony counts for sex crimes.
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