Clovis East teacher arrested for alleged molestation of student

Kenneth Lee
Kenneth Lee Special to The Bee

A teacher at Clovis East High School was arrested Wednesday for alleged sexual misconduct with a student, Clovis police said.

Kenneth Lee, 50, was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor age 14 or 15, and annoying or molesting a minor.

Police said the investigation started in December, when the victim notified Clovis East staff of the “inappropriate actions of her teacher.”

“Clovis detectives took over the investigation and determined that inappropriate touching had occurred on more than one occasion inside Mr. Lee’s classroom,” police wrote in a news release.

On Thursday, Clovis police announced in a news release that two more Clovis East girls had come forward saying they were victims of sexual misconduct in Lee’s classroom.

Police said anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Detective Ryan Swank at 559-324-3425.

Also, police issued a warning in Thursday’s news release: “Anyone interfering with or intimidating victims in this case will be criminally charged.” Police did not elaborate.

Removed from classroom in December

Clovis Unified School District identified Lee as a foreign language teacher.

Kelly Avants, spokesman for the school district, said in news release that “the charges filed reflect behavior that is utterly unacceptable.”

“Dr. Lee has not been in class since mid-December, which is when we were alerted to a concern raised by a student of unprofessional behavior in the classroom by Dr. Lee,” Avants said. “We immediately contacted local law enforcement, who began an investigation.”

A long-term substitute teacher has been in Lee’s classroom since that time.

“Since making our report to law enforcement,” Avants said, “we have maintained close communication with the student and family involved in the initial report to ensure they are kept well-informed and supported.”

Carmen George is a features and news reporter for The Fresno Bee. Her stories have been recognized with Best of the West, George F. Gruner, and McClatchy President’s awards, and nine first or second place awards from the California News Publishers Association. She has a passion for sharing people’s stories to highlight issues and promote greater understanding.