Teacher charged with molestation

UPLAND - The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office filed six counts of child molestation charges against an Valencia Elementary School teacher.

James Andrew Megaw of Rancho Cucamonga is accused of sexually molesting several current and former students.

He allegedly had innapropriate sexual contact with three boys and three girls ages seven to nine years old.

If convicted on all counts, Megaw could face a maximum of 11 years and four months in state prison, according to an Upland police report.

Megaw is the former president of the Upland Teachers Association and held multiple leadership positions with the California Teachers Association.

The Upland Unified School District on Oct. 24 told police officers that a parent accused Megaw of child molestation.

The Police Department then started an investigation and started interviewing the 20 students in Megaw's class, according to the news release.

The students were also interviewed at the San Bernardino County children's assessment center over the past two months, police Sgt. Cliff Mathews said.

Detectives submitted the case to the District Attorney's Office for review.

Megaw, 42, allegedly molested five of the children between Aug. 20 and Oct. 20, Deputy District Attorney Jason Anderson said.

The sixth alleged act of molestation occurred between September 2006 and May 2007.

Megaw has made arrangements through his defense attorney to appear at West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga today for an arraignment hearing, Anderson said.

Megaw will likely be taken into custody after entering a plea, but could be released later today if he is able to post bail, Anderson said.

Anderson said he would ask the judge to set bail at $600,000.

His wife, Shari Megaw, was sworn in Dec. 9 as a new board member for the Chaffey Joint Union High School District. She is also the vice president of the Ontario-Montclair Teachers Association and a member of the California Teachers Association State Council.

The Megaws have a 15-year-old son.

Megaw resigned from his position on Tuesday from Valencia Elementary. He had been on leave since October, when the molestation accusations first surfaced, school officials said.

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