INDIO – Criminal charges are expected to be filed against an Indian Wells school teacher suspected of assaulting a female student, police said.
Robert Keith Bryan, 59, a fourth grade teacher, had a search warrant served at his Palm Desert home on Aug. 1 and was eventually booked into Riverside County Jail on suspicion of a lewd act with a child under 14. No charges had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon, but Bryan was released on a $220,000 bond and assigned an Oct. 1 court date.
Bryan is alleged to have had a photo of a topless girl and several other images of girls on his work computer, according to search warrant information. A 10-year girl told authorities that Bryan touched her genitals while wearing her clothes while she was in her classroom sometime during the last (2011-2012) school year. Other female students told authorities that Bryan “touched their bodies in a matter that made them feel ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘weird,’ ” according to statements issued by an investigator.
Bryan, said investigator Michael Gaunt, had a history of inappropriate conduct dating back years. In 1992, he was suspected of committing a lewd act, but there was not enough evidence to sustain any criminal charges, said Gaunt. Two years later, Bryan was suspended by the Indian Wells School District without pay for inappropriately rubbing a female student’s back. He was also warned in writing by a principal to stop touching students and not be alone with one or a few, or he would face disciplinary action.
Authorities served a search warrant in July at Bryan’s classroom, and discovered the photos.