Middle school teacher in LA charged with child molestation

A man who taught at a middle school in Sherman Oaks pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges involving alleged misconduct with two students.

Kareen Spann, 46, is charged with one felony count of lewd act on a child and one misdemeanor count of child molesting, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's Office.

Spann -- an eighth-grade teacher at Louis Armstrong Middle School -- allegedly began having inappropriate communication in April with a student that led to grooming, according to investigators. The grooming led to inappropriate and unlawful touching, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The other charge involves a separate child, with the alleged crime occurring during lunch time on school property in April, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Los Angeles police are investigating the case, with any other potential alleged victims asked to call law enforcement at 818-374-5415, according to the District Attorney's Office.

In a statement announcing the charges, District Attorney George Gascón said, "Children deserve to feel safe and secure in their environment, and it is the responsibility of adults to protect them from any form of abuse or exploitation. These types of crimes against vulnerable students are sickening and a violation of trust."

Spann -- whose current status with the school was not immediately clear -- is due back in a Van Nuys courtroom June 21.