A preliminary hearing for a Sacramento special education teacher charged with six felony counts of lewd acts with a 7-year-old boy has been set for May 3 in Sacramento Superior Court.
Preston Lewis, 51, is also charged with one felony count of communicating with a 14-year-old boy with the intent to commit a sexual offense. The teen was one of Lewis' students at Sam Brannan Middle School and the communication referenced in the criminal complaint is alleged to have happened between March and September of 2010.
Lewis was arrested last April and has remained in Sacramento County jail awaiting trial. He has not entered a plea.
The alleged abuse of the 7-year-old occurred between 2004 and 2005, according to the criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney's Office.
Lewis was a foster parent until 2007, when allegations surfaced that he had fondled one boy and showered with another child. Police were notified, and the state revoked Lewis' foster care license on March 19, 2007. The state also took exclusion action against Lewis, the most severe action the Department of Social Services can take, which prohibits Lewis from being employed, visiting or contacting any facility licensed by the department.
Sacramento City Unified officials said they were notified of the sex abuse allegations two months after the state revoked Lewis' foster license. Lewis was placed on paid administrative leave while police investigated the allegations.
When police cited insufficient evidence for not filing charges, Lewis returned to teaching. School district officials said they were never told Lewis' foster care license had been revoked or of the exclusionary action facts they say would have helped start the dismissal process.
Instead, Lewis continued teaching and was placed on two more paid administrative leaves before he was fired last year following his arrest.
Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, introduced a bill in February that would require the California Department of Social Services to notify the Department of Justice when a foster care license is revoked or suspended. Dickinson cited the legal loophole that allowed Lewis to continue teaching for three years after the state deemed Lewis unfit to be a foster parent.
Sacramento City Unified School District sponsored the bill, which is scheduled for a hearing today