UPDATE (5/3): Puette has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in court June 1.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) (4/29) — A former Bakersfield elementary school teacher was arrested in San Diego County on charges of engaging in sexually graphic conversations with former students with the intent to commit a sexual offense, according to police.
Kyle Puette, 37, was arrested Thursday in Valley Center, police said. He worked at Louise Sandrini Elementary School from 2013 to 2017 and is currently employed as a 3rd and 5th grade teacher at Valley Center Elementary School.
The alleged crimes occurred in Bakersfield and Puette is being transported here to face charges. Police said two victims have been identified.
Puette contacted the juveniles through social media and engaged in “graphic and inappropriate” conversations through text and video messaging, police said.
“The Bakersfield Police Department is working closely with the Panama-Buena Vista School District as well as authorities in San Diego County,” a police news release said. “This investigation is being conducted in association with the Bakersfield Police Department’s membership in the Central Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.”
In a statement the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District wrote: “Today at 2:00 p.m., we learned that one of our Valley Center-Pauma Unified teachers was arrested for offenses in Kern County. To our knowledge, the offenses that he was arrested for did not occur in Valley Center-Pauma. We have no knowledge of any victims from our area. The district immediately placed the employee on administrative leave and is reviewing its legal options. He does not have contact with any district students at this time.”
Puette’s former employer, the Panama Buena Vista School District in Bakersfield, responded: “The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District was notified by the Bakersfield Police Department that Kyle Puette, a former 5th grade teacher at Sandrini Elementary School, was arrested in San
Diego County for allegedly sending harmful matter to seduce minors and communicating with minors through social media to commit a sexual offense. Mr. Puette has not been employed by the District since the end of the 2016/17 academic year when he resigned to relocate outside of Bakersfield. The District will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to assist in their ongoing investigation.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked call police at 661-327-7111.