Fourteen years in prison was the sentence handed down in court, Monday December 22, to a former Lincoln Middle School teacher, Thomas Arthur Beltran. Last May a 12-year old student reported the sexual abuse being conducted by Beltran, and shortly thereafter Beltran was put in custody. Beltran, 61, a 30-year-veteran of the Santa Monica Malibu unified school district plead guilty to 10 counts involving nine different students consisting of: seven counts of continuous sexual abuse; two counts of lewd act on a child; and one count of sexual penetration of a foreign object on a child under 14 (Some of these charges date back as far 2000). The sentence was handed down by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, William Hollingsworth, giving the former teacher his said 14-years with no chance of parole. Beltran also admitted to sexually assaulting two other students but those were not held against him in this case due to those crimes being committed outside the statue of limitations. In 2006, Beltran was investigated when a student asked to be removed from his class because she did not like the way Beltran was touching her. The Principal discussed this issue with Beltran and he said that he was bewildered by the idea of a student misinterpreting his actions as inappropriate. After which a letter was written informing Santa Monica Police that Beltran was instructed to not touch any of his students to prevent further misinterpretation. SMMUSD made many regulation changes after Beltran’s arrest last May to avoid any further incidents and required any act of sexual harassment/abuse to be directly reported to the districts superintendent. As of late a major regulation change requires all SMMUSD volunteers to have a criminal background check.
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