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Fmr. S.F. Phys. Ed Teacher Charged With Lewd Acts With A Child

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A former San Francisco Unified School District employee charged with committing a lewd act on a child at a school in the city was a physical education teacher, according to a school district spokeswoman.

Donavan Harper, a 35-year-old Novato resident, was taken into custody on June 8 in Novato after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

San Francisco police in October had launched an investigation into a report of sexual battery on a minor at a middle school.

A physical education teacher who had most recently worked full-time at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Harper came under suspicion after school officials learned of possible inappropriate behavior, according to district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.

Police and Child Protective Services were contacted and Harper was placed on paid leave during the investigation, Blythe said. Parents were also notified that an investigation was being conducted.

Harper worked for the district from August 2014 until April of this year. Prior to his position at MLK, which he started in August 2016, he was an itinerant physical education teacher who worked at various schools including Sloat, Lawton, Lilienthal, McCoppin, Muir and Mission Education Center.

"The alleged behavior of Mr. Harper is unacceptable and deplorable," Blythe said in a statement. "District and school staff encourage any students, families and staff members to come forward with concerns any time they feel someone at school has treated them inappropriately."

Harper has been charged with committing a lewd act and committing a forcible lewd act upon a child under 14 years old, according to jail records. He remains in custody, with bail set at $300,000, and his next court date is next Monday.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim or had any suspicious contact with Harper can contact police at (415) 558-5500.

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a text to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the beginning of the message.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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