Carlos Borja (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A teacher at Morris K. Udall School in Phoenix suspected of sexual misconduct with two former students has pleaded not guilty.
Carlos Pineda Borja, 41, entered his plea in Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday morning. His next scheduled court appearance is 8:15 a.m. in front of Commissioner LIsa VandenBerg.
At the time of his arrest, Borja, was still employed by the school, Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.
The incidents allegedly occurred in classrooms of the school at 3715 W. Roosevelt St. and during school hours in the 2012-13 school year.
They involved two girls who were 14 years old at the time, according to a court document.
The school has students from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Borja was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of molestation of a child and one count of sexual abuse.
The school district sent home a letter to parents notifying them of the investigation. The letter reads:
"In an effort to provide accurate information to the school community, I want to inform you of a sensitive situation. Recently, concerns were brought to the attention of Isaac administrators regarding a potentially inappropriate behavior on the part of a teacher toward some students. The school district immediately initiated a thorough inquiry into the concerns and took the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of students.
"In accordance with state law, the district also forwarded the concerns to other state and local agencies authorized to receive such reports. Early this morning, after conducting an independent, objective and impartial investigation into the concerns, the Phoenix Police Department decided there was sufficient evidence to arrest Mr. Carlos Borja for sexual misconduct with a minor that occurred during the 2012-2013 school year.
"We understand the concerns and questions you or your child may have about the foregoing reports and subsequent developments. As a school district, we are deeply troubled by any report that a teacher may have engaged in inappropriate behavior.
"Therefore, the school district will continue to cooperate fully with the Phoenix Police Department during its investigation. In the meantime, we will have a team of counselors available to assist staff and students with any concerns they may have. Please be assured that protecting the welfare of all students and providing a safe, secure learning environment is our first priority. These actions are not indicative of the great teachers and staff at our schools."
Thompson said people with any information about the alleged incidents are encouraged to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.
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