SAN LEANDRO -- A San Leandro High School teacher turned himself in Thursday after prosecutors charged him with engaging in an ongoing sexual relationship with a teenage student, police said.
Leon Chang, 27, surrendered to San Jose police Thursday after he was charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office with statutory rape and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, San Leandro police said in a statement.
Administrators were notified of a possible inappropriate relationship between Chang and a student several months ago, police said, and they reported the incident to the department. Officials did not say whether the minor was one of Chang's students or if the student attended San Leandro High School.
In a statement, San Leandro Unified School District Superintendent Mike McLaughlin said the district is "deeply concerned" about the situation and Chang has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, effective immediately. McLaughlin said Chang has previously been on paid administrative leave but did not make clear when that step was taken.
McLaughlin added Chang cannot return to work or step on district property until the case is resolved.
"The district is also investigating this matter and is committed to taking any and all necessary steps to appropriately address the situation," McLaughlin said in a statement.
Police said they had determined there had been an ongoing sexual relationship but did not say when the relationship took place. The student's age and gender were not released.
On Tuesday, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office reviewed the evidence and charged Chang. The investigation into the charges is ongoing and police said evidence is still being reviewed in the case.
San Leandro Unified School District board member Mike Katz-Lacabe said the news of Chang's alleged relationship hit close to home, saying that the concern he has for his own daughters is mirrored in his concern for the safety of all students.
"The district is working to figure out what we could have done better to either detect this early or prevent it in the first place," Katz-Lacabe said. "As parents and school board members, our utmost concern first is safety of students. Before any teaching takes place, we need to make sure they are safe."
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked call the San Leandro Police Department at 510-577-3230 or contact the Anonymous Tip Line at 510-577-3278. You can also call the Office of the Superintendent at 510-895-4199.
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