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Shafter man charged with molesting Wasco girl, 14

No date has been announced for the arraignment of a Wasco middle school counselor arrested last week on charges of sexually molesting a 14-year-old student at the school.

The employee was arrested on Jan. 30 after the girl charged he had touched her “inappropriately,” according a release from Kern County Sheriff’s Office. The incident allegedly occurred in May of last year.

The employee, Jose Solis, 37, of Shafter, is a counselor at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and has been with the district for five years.

Solis was booked into the county jail, charged with conducting lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, sexual battery and misdemeanor, and annoying and molesting a child under 18 years old.

An investigation began on the evening of Jan. 29. Solis was taken into custody and was booked on $25,000 bail.

Kelly Richers, superintendent of the Wasco Union Elementary School District, said in a statement issued on the day of the arrest, “Today, we were notified that a counselor at Thomas Jefferson Middle School was arrested due to allegations unknown to the district at this time. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the allegations that initiated the arrest, and we are fully cooperating with them.

“Since this is a personnel matter, I am unable to share any additional details at this time. The counselor has been put on paid administrative leave.”

Richers further stated that Solis was an academic counselor for all 6th to 8th-grade students, focusing on social, personal and career counseling.

Wasco Mayor Vincent Martinez of the arrest shared, “The City takes these kinds of allegations very seriously, and we will continue to monitor the situation. The criminal investigation is being conducted by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and the school district will conduct an internal investigation. I have confidence both the criminal and internal investigation will be handled appropriately and fairly once all the facts are known.”

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or the Secret Witness hotline at 661-322-4040.


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