Salinas High School

Salinas police arrested a 35-year-old man on Thursday on charges of unlawful sex with a minor. The alleged victim is a 17-year-old girl.

Juan Govea was a well-liked teacher at Salinas High School until about six months ago when he wrapped up the 2015-16 school year and left for a new job at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, where he is currently the director of exhibits and education.

He taught biology at Salinas High for 11 years before going to the museum.

Govea faces two felony charges connected to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and one misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a child.

Police say they don't know if she was a student of Govea's, but that she was a student at Salinas High while he was a teacher there. The alleged sexual misconduct happened within the past month, says Cmdr. Vince Maiorana, noting it was about six months after Govea resigned from the school. 

Govea's defense attorney, Juliet Peck, says she's unable to comment on the details of the case at this time, but that the alleged victim will turn 18 within the next two months. 

During his time as a teacher, Govea was invited to a White House conference of educators to share his experience with positive behavioral intervention. In 2011, he was also selected as one of 11 teachers nationwide to serve as a teacher ambassador fellow for the U.S. Department of Education.

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Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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