June 4, 2009

Teacher Joseph Hudson Charged with Molestation; Parents and Teachers React

KCBA Fox 35

June 4, 2009

San Juan Bautista, Calif. - 58-year-old Joseph Hudson is being charged with several counts of molesting children under the age of 14. Under the conditional release agreement Hudson will wear a device to monitor alcohol consumption and he was told to stay away from schools and children.

The city of San Juan Bautista is a small community where everyone pretty much knows everyone else. So last week when news broke that a long time principal and current third grade teacher had been arrested for child molestation many people were shocked. But some of the dust has settled, and KION went to the School Board Meeting Wednesday to check in with the community.

Frank Reyes has two children who attend San Juan Elementary. He's upset by the possibility that Hudson molested children, "It's very disconcerting you send your children to school and hope their going to be safe. You don't want that to have to be a consideration, something that weighs on you throughout the day wondering if they are safe," said Reyes.

Reyes still plans on sending his youngest son to the school next year, and says Hudson is not guilty until convicted by a jury, "In the country we live in I'm all for due process of law and I think everybody is entitled to their rights. But you know, again it's about keeping the children safe first, above anything else," said Reyes.

Joyce Medeiros has been teaching at San Juan elementary for 24 years. Joseph Hudson was one of her teaching mentors, "I was devastated. I cried. I cried all weekend," said Medeiros. Medeiros says most of the teachers support Hudson, but she says the accusations are shocking. "He is one of the best teachers we have and he taught me a lot. He's a great teacher he's great with the kids. I can't say enough good things about him," said Medeiros.

Joseph Hudson is that talk of San Juan Bautista, with supports and doubters. The long time teacher and principal will now await his trial. So far investigators say there are anywhere from 7 to 10 students who have come forward with accusations of inappropriate touching by Hudson.

He'll be out on bail Thursday and expected back in court June 25th.


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