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Granada High Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Having Sex With Student

Police arrest Marie Johnson on 24 counts of sexual assault.

A teacher was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of having sex with a former student, police said.

Marie Johnson, 40, of Livermore faces 24 counts of sexual assault on a teen boy. She was arrested without incident on campus, according to court records.

Police received information Tuesday alleging that Johnson was engaging in sexual relations with a boy under 15. Investigators then served a search warrant of Johnson's residence.

The incidents reportedly occurred numerous times during a six-month period, beginning in December 2010 and ending in May of 2011, police said. The relationship was initially formed through the use of text messaging, Facebook, and instant messaging on the online game “Words with Friends.”

Police said the sexual encounters primarily took place inside of Johnson’s vehicle and at other undisclosed locations in Livermore.

The boy, who was 14 at the time of the incidents, is a student at Granada High, Officer Steve Goard said. He is a former student of Johnson — who teaches math — but was not enrolled in her class during the sexual relations, Goard said.

Superintendent Kelly Bowers issued the following statement:

The LVJUSD confirms that a Granada High School teacher was placed on administrative leave by the District and arrested by the Livermore Police Department this morning for alleged inappropriate relations with a minor, pending investigation of the allegations. 

The District and Board of Education, as advocates and safeguards for the students entrusted to us, take our responsibility for student safety while in our charge very seriously.  The District, Board, and site administration and staff are cooperating fully with law enforcement officials, while conducting a simultaneous personnel investigation. As always, while following due process guidelines, if we discover that any adult or staff member has placed a student or students at risk, we take appropriate, swift and decisive action

We are not at liberty to discuss specifics or details, as the alleged victim is a minor and has the right and expectation of privacy and confidentiality.  We do not want to jeopardize the integrity of the investigations. We are not legally allowed to comment on specifics regarding the staff member, as personnel matters must remain confidential by law.

Safety of students is our utmost priority.  Any staff, student, parent or community member who has concerns or information pertinent to these investigations is asked to contact the LPD and/or the GHS site or District Superintendent’s office.

Johnson is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $1.85 million bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned at 11 a.m. Friday in Department 701 of the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton. Court records show she is expected to be charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 18, oral copulation and committing a lewd act on a child.

According to anonymous online reviews posted at RateMyTeacher.com, Johnson was fairly popular as a teacher — though some said she was "fun" and "cool" but not focused enough on the subject matter.

"The best teacher I had at Granada, so good I managed to get her every year I went there, three years as a student and 1 as a TA. She's the funniest, and easy going in a strict sort of way. If your (sic) looking for laughs and learning she's your teacher" said one commenter on Dec. 12.

In a similar high-profile case last year, Livermore resident agreed to a that gave her five years in prison for unlawful sex with two 14-year-old boys.

The Investigations Bureau does not believe that there are any additional victims in the Johnson case. However, the department recommends that parents speak with their children about the nature of any contacts with Johnson. Any person having knowledge of this crime, or any other crimes involving Johnson, should contact Livermore Police Department Press Information Officer Steve Goard at 925-294-7531.

If you're interested in what others have to say about this story, visit our Facebook Page. At last count, there were 85 comments about it. For a compilation of other online conversations, read our Storify article.

Sharon January 16, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Is one worse than the other? As a victim of both, as many are, we know both are horrible. In this case, the news states there was a confession. I cannot judge this case, and would not want to. Justice requires level heads and honest hearts. Let's hope for both.
Keith Pickering-Walters January 16, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Daleen, Thanks for replying to clarify. You are passionate about this topic and I appreciate that. I'll have to verify some info Tuesday or Wednesday before I can reply in more detail, but I believe that you understand how damaging "wondering" or "supposing" can be for all parties concerned through a forum such as this. Thanks again. -Keith PW
vicki January 16, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Daleen, I heard nothing but good things about your talk at GHS. Thank you for helping to get the word out. There are many children in Livermore that are being taken advantage of and have nowhere to turn - they just know they are to keep quiet. Many of the children are not even in high school yet. LHS needs to have you speak. Yes, it is necessary. The LHS children are missing out. There needs to be more people like you, Daleen.
peggy harding January 16, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Keith, thank you for all your sensitive and thoughtful responses. -Peggy
Daleen Berry February 25, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Keith, I dropped the ball and wanted to apologize; I was getting ill when you last commented and have only recently gotten back to the correspondence I let go by the wayside. I totally understand your point of view and have no desire to inflame anyone, when it comes to these cases. If you want to reach me directly, my email is daleen.berry@gmail.com. Thank you!

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