|For Immediate Release
January 6th, 2005
Media Relations Spokesperson
SANTIAGO MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS OF CHILD MOLEST WITH TWO STUDENTS WHILE THEY WERE 12 TO 14
Santa Ana— Married teacher Sarah Bench-Salorio, 28, of Orange, has been charged with 20 felony counts of sexually molesting two students at Santiago Middle School while they were 12 to 14. If convicted, she faces a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum sentence of 46 years in state prison.
Bench-Salorio was an English teacher at Santiago Middle School in the City of Orange. She is accused of sexually molesting two students during the past year when the victims were ages 12 to 14. The boys were seduced by Bench-Salorio over dinner, through emails and phone calls for months, before the defendant would start molesting them. The sexual offenses with John Doe #1 took place between September and December 2004, while the sexual offenses with John Doe #2 occurred over a 16-month period that ended in September 2004.
“Mrs. Bench-Salorio was entrusted with teaching these boys how to read and write. Instead, these victims had to learn lessons they should not know about yet. She is accused of violating their trust by seducing and molesting one boy from age 12 to 14 and another boy who was 13. The seriousness of these crimes should not be lessened by the fact that the perpetrator is a woman and the victims are boys,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “We are also fairly confident that there are additional victims out there. I want those boys to know that it is okay to tell their parents if she was inappropriate with them. I want the boys to know that their parents love them and will do what is best for them.”
Deputy District Attorney John Christl in the Sexual Assault unit has been assigned to prosecute this case. Bench-Salorio had her arraignment continued this afternoon until January 14, 2005, at 1:30 PM in department C55 of the Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana, CA 92701, at which time she will enter a plea and a bail hearing will be held. She remains in custody on $1 million bail. If anyone has information related to this case or knowledge of other victims they can contact the Orange Police Department, Monday-Thursday 8AM-5PM at (714) 744-7501, or after hours call (714) 744-7444.