Hot to Trot Teach Charged with Lewd Acts Involving Student Under 14 Years of Age

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from – A former elementary teacher in Simi Valley was arrested Tuesday on allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with a minor under the age of 14, officials said.

Malia Brooks, 32, was arrested on allegations of lewd acts upon a child and four other sex-related counts, including one in which the title of the charge says it involved a person under the age of 14, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. As of Tuesday night, she was still jailed on $2 million bail, authorities said.

Brooks is expected to be formally charged at 9 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said. Simi Valley police scheduled a news conference Wednesday, also at 9 a.m.

Brooks was placed on administrative leave earlier this year while police and school officials investigated claims the Garden Grove Elementary School IMPACT Academy teacher had had an inappropriate relationship with a student. Though officials would not at the time release her name because she had not been charged, Simi Valley Unified School District board President Rob Collins confirmed Tuesday night that Brooks was that teacher.

“She has formally resigned. She’s no longer working in the district,” Collins said.

Collins was unsure when she had resigned.

“It’s been a very long investigation and the police still haven’t told us anything,” he said.

Simi Valley police Lt. Stephanie Shannon would not release any details, saying it would all come out during the news conference.

“All the information we’re going to release, we’re releasing tomorrow,” Shannon said.

Collins said Brooks was placed on leave as soon as information surfaced that there was a problem. According to police, district administrators alerted them on Feb. 22 of the alleged crimes and that they had occurred in the past four months.

“The safety of our children is always our No. 1 priority,” Collins said. “Whenever we have any information that might be harmful, we remove the teacher immediately. That’s what we did and the rest will be handled through the legal process.”

A Malia Brooks who was a teacher at Garden Grove Elementary was The Star’s featured Cook du Jour in October 2011 for her Alla Carbonara Romana, a dish she picked up from her time living in Italy while a teenager. She and her family lived outside of the United States for many years, in locations including the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Sudan.

Brooks had two children and was married, according to that feature.


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