A former Gilroy teacher was charged Monday with 20 counts of sex crimes involving nine male victims ages 14 to 16, some of them former students in his chemistry class.
Douglas Le, who was out on bail, was ordered back into custody during his arraignment Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose. The former educator left in handcuffs after the judge increased his bail from $50,000 to $475,000.
Le, who taught chemistry at Gilroy High School, was arrested two months ago for allegedly posing as a teenage girl online using an adult film actress' photos to lure teen boys into sending him sexually explicit pictures and video.
He now faces charges of contacting and sending harmful material to a minor, communicating with a minor to commit specific crimes and annoying or molesting a child, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney.
"What someone is charged with and what they are convicted of are two separate things," said Sam Polverino, Le's attorney. "We should not jump to conclusions."
Le is scheduled to enter a plea on July 20. His family attended Monday's arraignment but declined to discuss the case.
Le was first arrested in late April, when investigators accused him of catfishing male students by posing as a female online and luring juveniles to send him lewd photos. After his arrest, the Gilroy Unified School District came under fire as critics contend officials failed to act on previous complaints made about Le. The district was slapped with two lawsuits on Wednesday, bringing the total number of suits to three.
High-profile attorney Gloria Allred slammed district officials for failing to protect students from the predatory teacher. "Our clients, who are children, were seriously harmed and impacted by GUSD's failure to protect them from verbal, physical and sexual harassment by their teacher," Allred said at a June 22 news conference. Police had previously arrested Le but were not able to hold him for long due to insufficient evidence. After his arrest, he resigned.
The first complaint against Le came almost two years ago, when a parent complained about Le directing sexually explicit content at her 15-year-old daughter. The girl’s mother, Celest Benn, was upset when the school district served Le a notice of unprofessional conduct but did not take legal action. "They should have taken me seriously. They should have done something," Benn said at the time. "The principal would not see me."
But Le was arrested again when two more students came forward last Wednesday and accused Le of sexual misconduct. He was arrested at his home on suspicion of felony child enticement and booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.