OAKDALE, CA - A substitute teacher at an Oakdale elementary school has been charged with felonies and misdemeanors after allegedly touching five girls, ages 10 and 11.
Forty-eight-year-old Bryan Thies faces charges of lewd acts on a child under 14, which are felonies, and annoying or molesting a child under 18, a misdemeanor.
That the alleged contact came during class may have limited the harm, said Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins.
"There's no minor case of child molestation but there are degrees. I would say this is a lesser degree. It occurred in a classroom and there were witnesses, which limited what could occur at that location," said Jenkins.
Cloverland parents were disappointed they learned so little about the situation from school district officials.
"It was just a general phone call saying something happened with a student and they were working with authorities and said they weren't allowed to release more information," said parent Deana Gore.
"It's frustrating. I understand they don't want to let out details that could interrupt the investigation, but at the same time, people have a right to know what's going on with their kids," said John Wallick, another parent.
Thies' bail was set at $100,000. He turned himself in to police after learning he was wanted.