A teacher accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl and from Lakewood to Rolling Hills Estates, where he drove over an embankment and crashed into a tree, made his first court appearance Wednesday after being discharged from a hospital.
Kip Richard Arnold, a 51-year-old Los Angeles Unified School District employee, with committing lewd acts on a child and felony evading. He appeared in Downey Superior Court Wednesday afternoon, but his arraignment was postponed until Aug. 8.
Arnold, whose bail was set at $1 million, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors say Arnold had a sexual relationship with the then-14-year-old girl between June and September 2005. The girl, now an adult, recently notified authorities, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Arnold was most recently a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School. LAUSD officials said he has worked for the district for eight years, previously teaching at Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies.
He was charged with three counts of lewd act on a child who was 14, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of evading an officer.
Arnold was under surveillance July 10 by Bell police at his Lakewood home in response to the woman's allegations. According to police, he walked out of his home, saw the officers and told them "Hey, I know why you're here. I'm going to commit suicide."
Arnold then allegedly drove off, leading police on a high-speed chase through Torrance and onto Crenshaw Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates, where he swerved his pickup truck off the road and soared over an embankment, slamming into the base of a tree.