Principal "Shocked & Angry" By Molestation Allegations Against Former Teacher

THERMALITO, Calif. - A former Butte County teacher was arrested for molesting several of his young students.

You Lee Vang, 53, appeared in court for his continued arraignment Tuesday morning.  He faces nine felony counts and is held in the Butte County Jail on $3,300,000 bail.

Investigators say it happened at Poplar Avenue School in the community of Thermalito just west of Oroville.  Vang worked there from 2001 to 2011 as an teacher in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program for Hmong students.

Investigators said the first victim came forward in 2011.  She said she was molested in 2006-2007 when she was eight and nine years old.  During the investigation detectives identified seven alleged victims.  Vang left the school in 2011 and moved to Alaska before he could be questioned about the allegations.
The principal at Poplar Avenue School Lisa Cruikshank was shocked and angry when she learned about the allegations.

"I have my grandchildren here and all of the children here are my children and we want to keep them safe," said Cruikshank. "And it's awful, it's awful that this happened to the families."

Vang was arrested last month.  Detectives traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to take him into custody.  Butte County District Attorney said Vang was working as a teacher in Alaska at the time of his arrest.

Ramsey said Vang was careful about who he chose as victims.

"It appears that he wasn't a mass molester but rather he would target certain victims," said Ramsey.

Ramsey said Vang would gain the student's trust, which is part of the reason it took so long for the victim to come forward.
"The information is out there. We're not entirely convinced that these are the only victims," said Ramsey.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Detective D'Amato at the Butte County Sheriff's Office SVU at (530) 538-7321.

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