SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A teachers aide at Prairie Elementary School in Sacramento is in custody after being accused of molesting six children. The incidents allegedly took place over a span of one year.
Eric Echols, 29, of Sacramento had been working with the Elk Grove School District since 2014. He was arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching young girls between the ages of seven and eight years old from July 2015 to June 2016.
“I’m very stunned and I will definitely talk to my seven year old girl to see if she knows who this teacher is,” says one parent.
While news of the arrest spread quickly, some parents say it wasn’t quick enough.
“When did the school find out about this … why weren’t the parents notified then?” says mom Marisa Vasquez.
“For me, to call the office and they tell me they can’t talk about it, no that’s not right cause my baby’s come here,” says Trisha Warren.
In July, an employee at the elementary school alerted the administration about the misconduct allegations. The district says they take these cases very seriously.
“As soon as we had heard about the allegations, we took very swift and decisive action to remove the employee from the work environment,” said Xanthi Pinkerton, spokesperson for the Elk Grove Unified School District.
Echols was immediately placed on administrative leave while sheriffs detectives investigated.
“Through the investigation, over the last two months, we have identified at least six victims,” says sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Tony Turnbull.
“The school should be sending out a phone call to parents, ” said Vasquez.
The district did eventually send out an email just before for Friday afternoon alerting the parents of the arrest, but they were directed to wait in order to not jeopardize the investigation.
Echols was also a substitute teacher at other schools in the district, so there may be more victims out there. If you have any information you asked to contact the sheriffs department.
Echols Is being held on $900,000 bail. He’s expected in court Sept. 20.