A preschool teacher for the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center was apprehended by University Police Saturday after a faculty member called 911 following a complaint of suspicious behavior near the College of Business.
Ernesto Higuera, who has since resigned from his position, was processed by the Long Beach Police Department under allegations of filming or photographing at least one person in a bathroom on campus, the Long Beach Post reported. Higuera was released Saturday on a $25,000 bail.
Terri Carbaugh, spokesperson for Long Beach State, confirmed that the 38-year-old suspect had been working at the center since August.
“Prior to his hire, he underwent the mandatory… Department of Justice background check and FBI background check that requires fingerprinting,” Carbaugh said. “At that time he was cleared to work at that position.”
According to Carbaugh, a court hearing for Higuera is scheduled for Jan. 3.
Parents of children at the center were notified about the arrest through an email sent by AlecSandria Colchico, the director of the development center.
A meeting was held Monday night at the Patterson Center. Representatives from the University Police Department, the Human Resources division and the daycare center were there to answer questions parents had regarding the incident, Carbaugh said.
“Parents were most interested in knowing is there a link between his behavior on Saturday and his supervision of children at the daycare center,” Carbaugh said. “What we were able to say is that at this moment, we have no reason to believe that his behavior on Saturday is related to his professional employment at the center, based on what we know so far.
The university intends to share more of what they know about the incident with parents as they receive more information.