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Teacher Charged With 29 Counts of Sex Crimes Against Minors

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Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton Friday announced she charged former Biology teacher Anessa Gower with 29 counts of child molestation.

Ms. Gower taught Biology at Making Waves Academy, in Richmond, California before her Wednesday arrest at Sacramento’s airport. She was returning from a trip to Hawaii, according to the District Attorney. The former Biology teacher allegedly engaged in multiple sexual acts with seven children in 2021 and 2022, the DA added. According to Becton’s statement, Gower allegedly engaged in inappropriate touching, sharing sexually graphic photos online and sexual acts.

Making Waves Academy is a private school providing instruction to more than 1,100 students. School officials were not immediately available for comment.

Allegations against the 35-year-old teacher were first brought to MWA, where she was employed at the time, according to the school’s chief executive officer. The earliest reported incident allegedly occurred in 2021.

“During the course of an investigation into allegations that one of our teachers violated school policy, we learned of additional highly concerning allegations involving that teacher’s conduct,” MWA CEO Alton Nelson told the “Washington Examiner”. Nelson added that administrators immediately shared that information with authorities, who are investigating the matter.

The private school reportedly terminated Gower’s employment.

Gower is charged with crimes that include unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy of someone under 16, sodomy of someone under 18, child molesting, lewd acts upon a child and sending minors lewd material, according to online court records. All but four of the 29 charges lodged against her in Superior Court are felonies. The dates of her alleged offenses occurred between December 23, 2021 and February 15, according to her charging documents.

The former teacher is scheduled to be arraigned on the criminal complaint at 1:35 p.m. Monday before Judge Rebecca Hardie.

She is currently incarcerated at Contra Costa County Main Jail in Martinez with bail set at $1.2 million, according to a report by Fox affiliate KTVU.

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