STOCKTON - An employee at ABLE Charter Schools in Stockton was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexual acts with a minor, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said.
Sheriff's officials said a parent from the school last week allegedly found alarming cellphone messages between her child and Erick Whiteside, who was hired as a security monitor in 2021 for the campus on Inglewood Avenue.
The school said in a statement that the former employee had an extensive background in security and had passed a background check.
When the parent showed the messages to school personnel, their staff contacted the Sheriff's Office, which resulted in a child abuse/sexual assault investigation.
The school was contacted by deputies about the investigation on Sept. 12 and placed Whiteside on leave the following day. His employment has been terminated.
The investigation was able to confirm child exploitation involvement and additional victims were located, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Whiteside's bail was set to $1.5 million, and he is set to appear in court Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Stockton.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Whiteside is asked to contact the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at (209) 468-4400, then select option one and refer to case number 23-16259.
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