Reporting Andrea Menniti
TRACY (CBS13) — A Traina Elementary School teacher is accused of molesting 12 children over the past seven years.
Darrel Golden, 59, faced a judge for the first time on Tuesday on charges of abusing children while he worked as a fourth-grade teacher at the Tracy elementary school.
The victims listed in a grand jury indictment are between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. Most are girls, with the exception of a few boys.
“Statutorily, the intent was for some sexual interest in the child,” said prosecutor Elton Grau.
Court documents say Golden touched private parts and had children sit on his lap, among other incidents.
“Every time we have a case and it has to with children, and it’s someone we entrust, those are the cases I consider are the most important,” Golden said.
A district employee reported seeing Golden inappropriately touching a student in November. That move sparked a lengthy investigation.
Parents are having a tough time comprehending how the alleged abuse could go unnoticed for seven years.
“I can’t believe it,” said Rosie Aguilar. “It’s unbelievable how these kids don’t come forward, and I’m sure they are terrified, and I’m sure their parents are not even aware.”
The school district sent letters to parents alerting them of Golden’s arrest. Administrators say school psychologists and district counselors are available if anyone on campus needs someone to talk to about the situation.