HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A school teacher accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a female student made his initial appearance at Honolulu District Court Friday.
Bryan Lindberg is charged with 16 counts of sex assault. The Leilehua High School teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The sexual offenses allegedly happened while the suspect was a teacher at another school, Hawaiian Mission Academy. His bail is set at $200,000.
From a classroom to a courtroom, Bryan Lindberg, 42, stands accused of a disturbing crime.
"I was shocked I'd have to say," Lionel Ortiz, Leilehua High senior, said. "I always thought our school was a safe place to be, but hearing stuff like that, it makes you think, right?"
A girl told investigators that between October 2008 and March 2009, when she was a 14-year-old freshman at Hawaiian Mission Academy, the math teacher would give her a ride to school -- arriving on campus at about 5 or 6 AM -- and take her to his classroom.
According to court documents, they initially just sat on his couch and talked, but as the weeks went by, "the two became physically intimate as Lindberg began to 'teach' (her) about sex."
"My friend was telling me about it one day. I was kind of like sick," Brandon Aplaca, Leilehua High junior, said.
Police arrested the suspect Wednesday at Leilehua High School, where he's currently employed. Students we spoke with were stunned.
"This guy was a really good teacher," Jerrilynn Maluyo, Leilehua High freshman, said. "He always comes to class, never misses it, so it was a shocker that he didn't come that one day. Everybody was curious."
Leilehua posted a note to parents on its web site, saying that it "will continue to be diligent in ensuring the safety of our students and employees."
The state Department of Education says Lindberg also taught at Waialua High and Intermediate, Wahiawa Middle and Mililani Middle, before starting at Leilehua in 2009.
"I don't like how it negatively pictures our school, you know, but whatcha gonna do?" Ortiz said.
The suspect is charged with 11 counts of first-degree sex assault and five counts of third-degree sex assault. A preliminary hearing will be held Tuesday, unless an Oahu grand jury indicts him before then.
The following is a statement from Hawaiian Mission Academy in its entirety:
"Brian (sic) Lindberg is a former Hawaiian Mission Academy teacher. His contract ended in 2009. After his employment ended, Hawaiian Mission Academy was made aware of allegations of possible criminal behavior involving a student that may have occurred while he was employed by the school. Upon learning of the allegations, the school promptly reported the matter to both the Honolulu Police Department and Child Welfare Services. The school has had no involvement in the investigations since 2009. The welfare of Hawaiian Mission Academy students is of utmost importance, and the school will continue to provide whatever assistance it can to law enforcement. There will be no further comment about this matter at this time."
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