A fifth-grade schoolteacher is in custody after he was accused by three students of inappropriately touching them during class.
Ricky Ordway, 43, was arrested by Peoria police and charged with five counts of child molestation and one count of sexual abuse of minors.
According to the police report, the Sun Valley Elementary School principal notified officers May 7 about the accusations.
During the investigation it was discovered that the alleged abuse by Ordway may have gone on for years.
The report says an 11-year-old female victim told officers that in February she “was sitting at Ordway’s desk when he pulled up her dress and underwear and touched her” while in class.
“After rubbing the victim’s leg, he touched her (inappropriately),” the report continued. The victim said it felt “weird” and she was uncomfortable and didn’t like it when (Ordway) touched her.
The second victim told police that since September, Ordway had “called her up to his desk, unbuttoned her pants and touched her several times.”
The third victim told officers that Ordway reached into her bra several times since last year.
Ordway was arrested without incident at the Peoria Police Unified School District office. He has worked for the district since August 2016, and has been on paid administrative leave since May 8.
One parent, who asked not to be identified but claimed her daughter was in his class, said she once thought Ordway was a “great teacher,” but is now worried about the charges he faces.
“My kid has been in his class all year and now I am scared to death about this,” the parent said. “My daughter said nothing happened, but I don’t know and I am terrified. He better hope he didn’t touch my daughter.”
The parent said her daughter was also part of a softball team that Ordway coached.
“When I got the call, I had no idea it could be (Ordway) and I was shocked,” the parent said.
The morning Ordway was arrested, Sun Valley officials sent parents a an email acknowledging his arrest and the accusations.
The statement read, “A student and parent brought allegations of inappropriate conduct to our attention and we immediately notified the Peoria Police Department. We also notified our fifth-grade families that Mr. Ordway would not be returning to class due to a personnel matter.”
The letter to parents continued, “We share this with you today, as you may see this news play out publicly. We want you to know that the safety and well-being of our students always has, and always will, remain our number one priority. Our immediate focus is to ensure that we maintain quality instruction and student support through the end of the year.”
Ordway has been booked into the Maricopa County Jail and could face more charges pending further investigation.
During his initial court appearance, Ordway said he had never been in any kind of trouble. His bond was ultimately set at $150,000, and if released he will be required to wear a GPS tracking device.
The Peoria Police Department and PUSD are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Peoria Police Department or Detective Rodrigues at 623-773-8976. Silent Witness is also available at 480-WITNESS.