Preschool teacher arrested on suspicion of spying in CSULB restroom

A preschool teacher at Cal State Long Beach’s child development center was arrested Saturday on suspicion of secretly videotaping or photographing at least one person in a campus bathroom, according to authorities.

“On Saturday afternoon, a high school student attending an Ethnic Studies Conference reported suspicious behavior in a men’s bathroom located in the College of Business, and campus officials called 911,” campus spokeswoman Terri Carbaugh said in an email.

Police headed to the area around 12:30 p.m. and arrested the teacher on suspicion of misdemeanor charges including invasion of privacy and loitering at a bathroom, according to authorities.

“Campus police also took action to ensure no other students attending the conference had come into contact with the suspect, and the victim’s family was notified of the incident,” Carbaugh said.

Authorities identified the man as Ernesto Higuera, 38. He is a preschool teacher at CSULB’s Isabel Patterson Development Center, Carbaugh said.

“On Sunday, parents of children attending the center were notified by phone and email of the incident,” she added.

Higuera was immediately suspended, the email notification sent to parents said.

Higuera was required to pass background checks before being hired, according to the campus.

“These checks produced no evidence of a previous criminal record,” said the email sent to parents by the center’s director, AlecSandria Colchico. “I apologize if this causes concern. We are planning to hold a meeting as soon as we have more information to share.”

Higuera was released Saturday night on $25,000 bail, according to jail records.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.