A California woman voted one of the five best teachers of the year in San Diego County last year has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a child.
According to the San Diego Sherriff’s Department, police arrested Jacqueline Ma on Tuesday and charged her with sexual misconduct with a child under 14, lewd and lascivious acts, and oral copulation.
Ma, an elementary school teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary in the National City School District, is accused of sexually assaulting a child that no longer attends the school; it’s unclear when the alleged attacks occurred.
In a statement to NBC 7, District Superintendent Leighangela Brady stated that Ma was arrested at around 8 a.m. on campus, but not in the vicinity of the students.
“We know that our entire school community is as stunned as we were by this news. The district will cooperate with law enforcement and cannot comment any further on the pending investigation. We will continue to do everything possible to keep our students’ safety, needs, and education first and foremost,” Brady’s statement read, in part.
Meanwhile, some parents who learned the news remember Ma as a child-like “kind” teacher.
“She was very down to earth. She kind of seemed like a kid herself,” parent Katy Carranza told the outlet.
The district also released a statement to ABC 10, indicating that it plans to cooperate fully with law enforcement.
“We know that our entire school community is as stunned as we were by this news. The district will cooperate with law enforcement and cannot comment any further on the pending investigation,”
Ma was booked at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility. Her next court date is scheduled for March 9.
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[Feature Photo: Jacqueline Ma/ San Diego County Office of Education]