SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) – The father of a 14-year-old girl who allegedly received sexually explicit text messages from her substitute custodian at El Capitan High School says he is disgusted but relieved his daughter was brave enough to come forward.
“She is traumatized,” said Todd, the father who used is his first name only. Since this is a child sex crime, to protect the minor's identity CBS News 8 will not release the father's full name.
Deputies say Elias Morales II, 21, a sub-custodian with the Grossmont Union High School District, allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to the El Capitan High School student and encouraged her to ditch class and meet him off campus, sheriff's Lt. Jeff Duckworth said. It was not immediately disclosed how long the exchanges allegedly went on.
“It was early Wednesday that he was sending inappropriate text messages and that he was making her feel very uncomfortable,” said the teen's father.
School officials said they notified the sheriff's department after learning of the allegations against Morales.
Detectives took over a text session posing as the student and agreeing to meet Morales at a 7-Eleven convenience store on Maine Avenue for a sexual liaison, Duckworth alleged.
“The texting was certainly paramount in this and it brought us to him and when we had the detectives slip into that role of the minor and Morales went to parking lot expecting to meet a young girl and what he got was big deputy,” said Jan Caldwell, San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesperson.
Morales was arrested at the store on suspicion of communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a specified sex act and appearing at an arranged meeting place for purpose of committing lewd acts with a minor.
“I can't believe someone like that would be working at a school,” said the teen's father.
A spokesperson for the District says once they learned of the allegations Morales was a released. She also says Morales went through a DOJ and FBI background check and met qualifications.
Morales was booked into jail, but has since posted bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in an El Cajon courtroom on Feb. 27, authorities said.
The community and the girl's father say they praise the alleged victim for coming forward.
“I'm just proud that she was strong enough and willing to do the right thing,” said the teen's father.
Duckworth said detectives were working to determine if there were any additional alleged victims. He asked anyone with additional information to call the sheriff's department at (858) 974-2316, or after hours at (858) 565-5200, or contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
Here is the statement in its entirety from the Grossmont Union High School District:
“GUHSD spokeswoman Catherine Martin confirmed Friday that a male substitute custodian was released on February 19 after administrators learned of allegations of intent to pursue an inappropriate relationship with a female student.
As soon as we learned of the allegations involving the substitute custodian, we took immediate action and notified law enforcement, who arrested the individual away from school.
The Grossmont Union High School District takes allegations of misconduct seriously and has taken appropriate steps to support and protect our students and our school community. As this is an ongoing investigation, we must preserve the rights of everyone involved, and we are limited as to what we can discuss at this time.
As a school district, we do not condone any inappropriate behavior by adults. When concerns involving any adult on campus come before us, our normal procedure is to remove the adult from the situation and conduct a full investigation in cooperation with law enforcement. We take this particularly seriously when the actions could endanger students.
All prospective substitute employees are fingerprinted and undergo a DOJ and FBI background check before they are hired. Elias Morales met these qualifications and has worked throughout our District over the past three months.”