ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A former Albuquerque Public Schools teacher facing a child sexual assault charge in New Mexico was arrested last week in Michigan on 12-count child abuse warrant for alleged crimes that also occurred here.
Police in Michigan arrested Kenneth Jehle on Thursday in Benzie County, Mich., according to a Michigan State Police news release issued Monday. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Benzie County jail pending extradition proceedings.
Jehle was wanted by the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force on a 12-count felony warrant with six counts of child abuse and six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, police said in a news release.
The charges stem from an accusation that Jehle on several occasions masturbated in front of a 12-year-old girl, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
The victim, now 18, told police about the incidents in September, according to the complaint. When she confronted Jehle about his behavior, “he would tell her there was nothing wrong because he wasn’t touching her,” according to the complaint.
This is the second time in a year that Jehle has been arrested for an alleged sex crime against a child. He also was arrested in April on a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor while he was a teacher at Taft Middle School in Albuquerque. APS fired Jehle last school year, spokesman Rigo Chavez previously told the Journal .
The charge came after a 13-year-old student accused Jehle of touching her groin area at school. According to a criminal complaint, the student said it was not an isolated incident. She told police Jehle had been doing “weird stuff” for several weeks, including cornering her and tapping her stomach and upper thigh, and once on her backside.
That criminal case is ongoing. He had been released on bail in that case.
In addition to criminal charges, the family of the 13-year-old student also has filed civil charges against Jehle.
The family also has filed charges against APS and two district principals.