|Malia Brooks "Blowing a Little Candle"|
Judging from the photo (above), it looks like Simi Valley elementary school teacher Malia Brooks really knows how to blow. And it’s funny, the same thing is being said around the hallways of the school after Brooks was arrested and charged with sex crimes against a student.
The 32-year-old sixth-grade teacher turned herself in to police Tuesday after being charged with five sex-related counts involving a child under the age of 14.
Police are not releasing much information, other than saying the student is under the age of 14 and the school serves children in kindergarten through sixth grade.
According to investigators, the relationship began in late 2012 and lasted four months.
An official investigation of Brooks began back in February 2013, after Simi Valley Unified School District officials learned of alleged inappropriate conduct between the teacher and a student. Brooks was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, and resigned June 5.
On Wednesday, in court, Brooks pleaded not guilty to charges of lewd acts on a child, oral copulation of a person under the age of 14 and three counts of genital penetration by a foreign object.
Brooks' attorney said his client suffers from mental illness.
"We've had her diagnosed and she's in treatment," Bamieh told NBC Los Angeles. "My guess is a lot of the charges precipitated from that illness."
Brooks had worked at the school district since 2004 and was once married with two children, but is now reportedly divorced.
In a statement, school district Superintendent Kathy Scroggin said that Brooks had "been evaluated until now as an exemplary teacher" and reassured parents that "the district has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of students."