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6 children accuse Las Vegas teacher of inappropriate touching, papers show

Six children accused a Las Vegas third-grade teacher of inappropriately touching them at some point during the 2016-17 school year, court documents show.

A criminal complaint and an arrest report for Luis Andres Busso, 38, a former Ira J. Earl Elementary School teacher, identifies six different girls at the school who said the teacher had touched them, five of whom were his students.

“(A student’s mother) described how her daughter told her she would move around so he wouldn’t touch her, but he would still continue,” according to the arrest report.

Another student told investigators, the report said, of a time she “ran to her seat so he wouldn’t touch her.”

The report shows different children accused Busso of touching their backs, necks, buttocks and under their shirts. One student reported Busso asked her and another girl to sit on his lap.

Several girls said Busso touched them multiple times in class while other students were around, according to the arrest report.

Prosecutors charged Busso last week with five counts of lewdness with a child younger than 14, four counts of unlawful contact with a minor or mentally ill person and one count of attempted lewdness with a child younger than 14. He remained in Clark County Detention Center on Tuesday night.

School police first received a report of possible abuse by Busso on Jan. 25, when a girl reported the inappropriate touching to school police. She told police Busso began to touch her two days into the new school year.

She told administration Busso inappropriately touched her and another student, and he would tell her she was “doing a good job in class” while rubbing her. Both students transferred to different teachers after the incident was reported.

The Metropolitan Police Department received a report April 27, when a mother emailed the school principal to detail the misconduct, the report said.

Her daughter later told police Busso, who wasn’t her teacher, pulled her aside two separate times on the school’s picture day to comment on her appearance and rub her back.

The student’s mother indicated her daughter, “got a ‘creepy vibe’ from Busso touching her,” according to the report.

Metro investigators interviewed the majority of the children in Busso’s class from fall 2016 to spring 2017, the report said.

Some pupils who accused Busso of misconduct did so after they were no longer enrolled at Ira J. Earl Elementary. One student who moved to a different school reported to her new school’s administration that Busso had inappropriately touched her during her time in his class.

According to the report, she said she reported the touching to her new school, “so they would know why she was crying all the time.”

Another student, who was in Busso’s class before moving to a different state, reported abuse June 13 to her local police, who contacted Metro later in the month.

The school district has previously said it fired Busso on May 25 after an internal investigation. The district said he began teaching at the school in August 2008.

According to the report, Metro interviewed Busso on Jan. 4. He said he gave students high fives or touched their backs “to show they were doing a good job,” but denied all allegations of abuse, the report said.

“Busso said teaching is ‘up close and personal’ but does not know why students would say they were sitting in his lap,” according to the report.

A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative series found that sexual misconduct between employees and students was a systemwide crisis that resulted in at least five lawsuits over a five-year period.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.