A teacher at a Richmond charter school was arrested on suspicion of child molestation on Wednesday and is now charged with 29 counts of child molestation, according to the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office.
Anessa Paige Gower, 35, is a biology teacher at Making Waves Academy. She was arrested on Wednesday morning in Sacramento as she returned from a vacation in Hawaii, according to the district attorney's office.
Prosecutors allege that Gower engaged in "numerous" acts of a sexual nature with seven minors between 2021 and 2022, according to a statement released by the district attorney's office on Friday.
The allegations include sex acts with minors, inappropriate touching, and sharing sexually graphic photos over online platforms.
Gower is in custody with bail set at $1.9 million.
The chief executive officer for the Making Waves Academy issued a statement late Friday in the wake of Gower's arrest.
"There is nothing more important than the health, safety, and well-being of our students," said Alton B. Nelson, chief executive officer of Making Waves Academy. "During the course of an investigation into allegations that one of our teachers violated school policy, we learned of additional highly concerning allegations involving that teacher's conduct. We immediately shared that information with authorities who are reviewing the matter."
Nelson said that Gower has been terminated and the school has reached out to parents, students and faculty to "provide support where it might be needed."
The school said it would not be commenting further at this time.
Gower is the second teacher to face charges for molesting a student at this school. In 2017, Ronald Guinto was convicted for abusing 12 students.