High school custodian accused of texting student for sex

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LAKESIDE, Calif. — A 21-year-old Grossmont Union High School District substitute custodian allegedly pressured a 14-year-old girl to meet him for sex and was arrested as he reached the purported meet-up site, a sheriff’s lieutenant said Friday.

Elias Morales II allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to the El Capitan High School student and encouraged her to ditch class and meet him off campus, sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Duckworth said. It was not immediately disclosed how long the exchanges allegedly went on.

School officials said they notified the sheriff’s department after learning of the allegations against Morales.

Detectives took over a text session posing as the student and agreeing to meet Morales at a 7-Eleven convenience store on Maine Avenue for a sexual liaison, Duckworth alleged.

Morales was arrested at the store on suspicion of communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a specified sex act and appearing at an arranged meeting place for purpose of committing lewd acts with a minor.

He was booked into jail, but has since posted bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in an El Cajon courtroom on Feb. 27, authorities said.

Morales was fingerprinted and underwent U.S. Department of Justice and FBI background checks before being hired about three months ago, according to a statement issued by the school district, which says his employment was terminated on Thursday.

“The Grossmont Union High School District takes allegations of misconduct seriously and has taken appropriate steps to support and protect our students and our school community,” the statement says. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we must preserve the rights of everyone involved, and we are limited as to what we can discuss at this time.”

Duckworth said detectives were working to determine if there were any additional alleged victims. He asked anyone with additional information to call the sheriff’s department at (858) 974-2316, or after hours at (858) 565-5200, or contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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