SAN MATEO (BCN)--San Mateo police last week arrested an elementary school teacher suspected of taking and possessing photos of children in lewd poses.
On April 21, officers arrested 33-year-old Anthony Satriano at his home in San Francisco after a roughly two-week investigation into his alleged behavior involving multiple victims, according to San Mateo police officials.
The investigation started on April 6, when Satriano's employer, St. Mathew's Episcopal Day School, contacted police about his alleged inappropriate interaction with one of his students, said San Mateo police Lt. Ryan Monaghan.
The student told police that Satriano made inappropriate comments to her and asked her to wear a pair of tights.
Investigators contacted Satriano and found photos of young girls on his phone that Satriano allegedly said he used for "sexual purposes," according to police.
None of the children in the photos were naked, but the nature of the poses "constituted criminal violations," according to police.
"Things like this we... take very seriously, and when we were alerted to this, we immediately started investigating" and found additional victims, Monaghan said.
"The investigation is active and ongoing," Monaghan said. "We have not received any information or discovered any evidence to indicate there was any inappropriate physical contact."
St. Mathew's placed Satriano on administrative leave as soon as they learned of the allegations against him and a school official said today that he is no longer employed there.
"Student safety is our top priority. When we learned a teacher may have engaged in inappropriate conduct, we proactively notified the San Mateo Police Department and removed the teacher from school," school officials said in a written statement today. "Charges of child pornography have been filed against the former teacher. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement."
St. Matthew's requires extensive background checks of all its employees and Satriano's check revealed no prior record, school officials said.
During his three years at the school, Satriano worked with children from ages 5 to 8 in the before- and after-school programs, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Aleyda Reales worked with Satriano as an after school care teacher.
“He was a good teacher. None of this was expected or even thought of,” said Reales. “It was a big surprise for everybody in the community. We are trying to do the best to recover and keep the kids happy.”
He was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of child annoyance and possession of inappropriate photos of juveniles.
He appeared in court today for an arraignment, which was postponed until May 3. His bail was set at $2 million and he remains in custody, according to prosecutors.