Crime

Prosecutors dismiss sex crime case against Clovis West High teacher

Pete Martinez Arguijo, 41, of Fresno
Pete Martinez Arguijo, 41, of Fresno

The criminal case against Clovis West High School teacher Pete Martinez Arguijo has been dismissed “in the interest of justice,” his lawyer said Friday.

The District Attorney’s Office informed Superior Court Judge James Kelley Jr. on Thursday that it was dismissing a felony charge of a lewd act with a minor against Arguijo, 41, of Fresno. Since his arrest on July 21, 2016, he has been free on $30,000 bail.

Fresno defense attorney Roger Wilson said Friday that prosecutors told him the case was dismissed “in the interest of justice and in the best interest of the alleged victim.”

Police said the alleged crime involved a child 14 or 15 years of age and did not involve one of Arguijo’s students at Clovis West. Prosecutors also said the alleged crime did not occur on the high school campus.

Arguijo faced up to three years in prison if convicted of the lewd act.

Clovis Unified School District spokeswoman Kelly Avants said Friday that Arguijo is employed with the district but on unpaid leave. Because it involves confidential personnel matters, Avants said she could not speak specifically about Arguijo’s employment.

But in general, to return to work in the district an employee would have to present documents that clear him or her to return to work. Then the employee would return to the job for which he or she has jobs rights.

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