SAN DIEGO – A substitute teacher was arrested in an investigation alleging he had a sexual relationship with a girl who attends Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach.
A San Diego sheriff's resource officer received information Friday that a teacher at Mar Vista High was having a relationship with a student. The investigation lead to identifying the suspect as the school's ROTC instructor Martin Albert Gallegos, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Brislin.
Detectives took over the investigation and arrested the 48-year-old man on Saturday, Brislin said. Gallegos faces five counts of sexual conduct with a minor.
Gallegos has been substituting at the high school since September 2015 and has only been with the ROTC program for several weeks, according to Manny Rubio, Sweetwater Union High School District spokesman.
“This staff person is actually a substitute teacher, he’s not actually a full time permanent employee of the district,” said Rubio. "We’re reaching out to the families and reaching out to our students to see what’s going on and if there’s anything else that potentially happened on campus."
“Mar Vista is really a good school for kids, but this is really disturbing to hear. This is really the first time I heard about it,” said Yolie Kip, a parent of a student who attends the school.
“[Gallegos] was a really good guy. He took a lot of interest in a lot of students and he made sure a lot of us were okay,” sophomore Alexander Cobb said Monday. “He always seemed like he didn’t want anything bad to go on with his students. He just doesn’t seem like the type of guy that that would do anything like that.”
Gallegos was booked into San Diego Central Jail and posted bail. He is scheduled to be in court on April 19.
Anyone with information about the investigation should call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Tipsters can be anonymous and may be eligible for a $1000 reward.