Palo Alto High School science teacher arrested for sex crimes against student

Ronnie Farrell (Palo Alto Police Department)

PALO ALTO (KRON) — A Palo Alto High School teacher was arrested Wednesday night for committing sex crimes against one his students, according to authorities.

Police received a call on Monday from a parent of a 15-year-old girl reporting that their daughter, who recently completed 9th grade, had been assaulted by her science teacher, 46-year-old Ronnie Farrell of Palo Alto.

The incident happened on June 7 at 9 a.m. when the suspect asked the victim to meet him at the school, police said.

The victim agreed as it is was normal for the girl to help teachers with chores in classrooms.

The two were alone in the classroom when the suspect put his hands under the victim’s clothes and touched her breasts, according to police. He also took one of her hands and placed it on his groin over his clothing.

Farrell eventually told the victim to leave his classroom, which she did.

An investigation revealed that the suspect had been messaging the victim on social media.

The suspect continued to talk with the victim on social media after the incident. He arranged to meet her at Palo Alto High School Wednesday night.

Instead, detectives were there to meet him. They were able to take him into custody without incident.

Farrell was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on felony charges of child molestation, sexual battery, communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex crime, and arranging a meeting with a minor with the intent to commit a sex crime.

Detectives are not aware of any additional victims at this time.

Anyone who believes that their child may be a victim is should call Palo Alto Police 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.

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