State

DA files 37 sex-crime charges against Fresno High teacher

Darren Klassen
Darren Klassen

A Fresno High teacher will be arraigned Friday on 37 felony charges of having unlawful sexual intercourse and committing lewd acts with his former underaged student.

Darren Klassen, 46, was arrested Sept. 24 after the student reported her relationship to her parents. Her parents then notified police.

The District Attorney’s Office filed the criminal complaint Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court.

Fresno Unified School District said Klassen has been placed on administrative leave.

After his arrest, he has been free on $80,000 bail. But that bail amount could change at his arraignment.

Before teaching at Fresno High, Klassen was a teacher at Madera South High School for more than a decade.

The police detective’s affidavit says the 17-year-old girl told her parents that she began having an affair with Klassen when she was 15 years old. Shortly after she turned 16 in November 2013, she started having sex with Klassen, the affidavit says. She said the first encounter was in his classroom. She told detectives it was the first time she had sexual relations with anyone.

The affair then escalated to having sex with Klassen three to five days a week in the 2014-15 school year, the affidavit says. The sex happened in his classroom or inside a house, she told detectives.

During the relationship, the girl said she also sent hundreds of sexually provocative photographs of herself to Klassen via text messages.

At the direction of a detective, the girl called Klassen. The affidavit says Klassen answered the telephone and admitted in the recorded telephone call to having sex with the girl.

Pablo Lopez: 559-441-6434, @beecourts

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