2 Gilbert school employees arrested for alleged misconduct involving students

- Two Gilbert Junior High School employees have been arrested in separate incidents involving in misconduct with students.

One of the suspects arrested was a teacher, and the other, a softball coach. Both men were reportedly mentors to their victims, and police said the two people's alleged crimes are not connected.

Gilbert Police Department says 23-year-old Jael Cerda was arrested on February 14 on sexual conduct with a minor and sex abuse charges. Cerda is not a teacher at the school but works there as a softball coach and allegedly engaged in sexual activity with the girl, who is a student at the school.

Police said Benjamin Bedell, a teacher, was arrested and accused of carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a student that eventually led to kissing.

Police said in Bedell's case, there was no sexual contact, and he is facing misdemeanor charges. Police also said there is no indication that the sexual activity happened on school property or during school hours.

Parents of Gilbert Junior High School students are concerned over the latest developments.

"I'm just concerned for our children's safety, and just concerned we have the right role models that are teaching our students and coaching our students as well," said Alicia Rosenquist. Her daughter was on the Gilbert Junior High softball team, and knew Cerda.

A Crisis Response Team was on campus Wednesday to provide support for students and staff.


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