NAPA -- A 33-year-old teacher at the Pope Valley Elementary School in Napa County has been arrested on 19 counts of lewd conduct spanning more than a decade with a minor including incidents that allegedly took place on school grounds.
The Napa County Sheriff Office said Benjamin Casas was arrested on a no-bail criminal complaint Saturday at his residence on Harness Drive in Pope Valley.
Casas has been charged with:
- 10 felony counts of lewd act upon a child under the age of 14
- 2 felony counts of lewd act upon child aged 14 or 15 with a greater than10 year age difference between victim and accused
- 2 felony counts of forced oral copulation with child over the age of 14
- 3 felony counts of PC 287(c)(1)- oral copulation with child under the age of 14 with a >10 year age difference between victim and accused
Deputies said Casas arrest was the result of a lengthy investigation where several victims were identified separately with incidents going back over 12 years ago.
"We appreciate the courageous victims for reporting these incidents," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook.
Since 2014, Casas has worked at two or more elementary schools in Pope Valley and St. Helena and has also instructed children as a piano and dance teacher.
The criminal sexual contact with the children allegedly occurred at different locations in Napa County, but included private areas of the Pope Valley Elementary School campus where Mr. Casas was employed.
If you have any information about this case, please contact Detective Shamus Stafford at 707-253-6031.
for more features.