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Escondido school district staff member arrested on I-5, charged with lewd acts

San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 02:21:37-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) — An Escondido Union High School District staff member accused of multiple counts of lewd acts was arrested Wednesday.

Travis Putnam, 33, of Escondido, was arrested just after 1:30 p.m. on Interstate 5 in Oceanside and booked into a Vista detention facility, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Deputies said the Sheriff's Child Abuse Unit was notified of possible sexual abuse allegations against Putnam that occurred in unincorporated Escondido.

SDSO added that the incidents had nothing to do with Putnam's current employment within EUHSD.

Following an initial investigation, deputies said they found cause to arrest Putnam and charge him with four counts of lewd acts with a child 10 years or older.

The victims in the case were juveniles at the time the incidents occurred, SDSO said. Their identities are not being released.

Orange Glen High School senior, Sara Aguilar, who is a student in Putnam’s class, says news of his arrest spread around the campus quickly.

She says Putnam was well-known on campus, and well-liked by students.

“Everyone was shocked,” Aguilar said. “He is very attentive and a lot of love for teaching students. He’s like the teacher that everyone relates to.”

“I would wait for more information to come out. Everyone is hoping it’s not true,” she added.

The district released the following statement Wednesday night:

The Escondido Union High School District, in conjunction with law enforcement and other authorities, is currently investigating a situation, following notification of an allegedly inappropriate relationship(s) by a staff member. The district has placed the individual on administrative leave. At this point, allegations do not involve students from EUHSD, nor are they believed to have occurred on any EUHSD campus. The District is taking action necessary to protect the safety of all students and staff. As this is a personnel issue requiring confidentiality and is in the early stages of a thorough investigation, no further information is available at this time.