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Former Ojai teacher arrested for sexually abusing student

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An Ojai man was arrested on Monday for sexually abusing a child during his time as a teacher. 

According to a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office news release, in February 2023, Ventura County authorities were alerted to a cold case sexual assault that took place from August 2012 through June 2017 involving the suspect, Paul Herder, who was a teacher at Oak Grove School in Ojai at the time. 

Detectives say that during Herder’s time as a teacher, he engaged in an unlawful dating relationship with a juvenile student, coerced the student to engage in numerous sexual acts, and sent harmful material to the student. Herder also possessed child pornography. 

Police traced and located Herder in Pahoa, Hawaii, where he was extradited to Ventura County and arrested for lewd acts on a child, unlawful sexual intercourse, luring and using a minor for sex acts, and other sexual assault charges. 

He is currently being held on a $1,100,000 bail and is set to arraign in Ventura County Superior Court on Tuesday. 

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