Former Yuma teacher faces additional child molestation charges

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Gabriel Macias, 35 By Mike Gertzman Gabriel Macias, 35 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

YUMA, Ariz. – A former Yuma teacher accused of child molestation faces additional charges after police discovered more alleged victims.

Detectives with the Yuma Police Department arrested Gabriel Macias, 35, at the Yuma County Courthouse on April 25 in connection with an ongoing child molestation investigation.

He previously was arrested for allegedly molesting three students when he worked as a fifth-grade teacher at Harvest Preparatory Academy in Yuma. The boys, who were between 10 and 13 years old at the time, told police the incidents occurred at Macias' home between 2003 and 2006.

He was arrested in August and booked into the Yuma County Jail on charges of child molestation and furnishing harmful items to minors.

Detectives have since learned of five additional victims during the same time period, according to Master Police Officer Cruz Vidal. Three of the alleged victims attended Harvest Preparatory Academy and the other two were introduced to Macias. The boys were between the ages of 10 and 15 at the time.

Macias left Harvest Preparatory Academy in 2006 and later taught third grade at Desert Sonora Elementary in Somerton.

Macias was booked into the Yuma County Detention Center for 18 additional charges, including child molestation, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and furnishing harmful items to minors.

Macias remains in custody without bond.

Police said there may be other potential victims and the investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call Detective Bacaneri at 928-373-4694 or the Yuma Police Department at 928-373-4700 or 78-Crime to remain anonymous.