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South Gate Teacher Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

Kip Arnold pleaded not guilty to sex related charges in November.

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DOWNEY (CNS) - A Southeast Middle School physical education teacher who made headlines for careening his pickup over an embankment during a July police chase was sentenced on Monday to four years and four months in prison for committing lewd acts with a 14-year-old girl.

Kip Richard Arnold, 51, was originally charged with three counts of committing a lewd act on a child, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 and one count each of sexual penetration by a foreign object and evading an officer.

He pleaded guilty Nov. 26 to two counts of committing a lewd act on a child and one count of evading an officer.

The charges were related to a sexual relationship Arnold had with a then-14 year-old girl between June and September 2005.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials said Arnold, who most recently taught at Southeast Middle School in South Gate, had worked for the district for eight years. He previously taught at Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies.

Arnold led Bell police officers on a high-speed chase July 10. According to police, he walked out of his Lakewood home -- where he was under surveillance in response to the allegations -- saw the officers and told them, "Hey, I know why you're here. I'm going to commit suicide.''

Arnold sped off, with police in pursuit, through Torrance and onto Crenshaw Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates, where he swerved his pickup truck off the road and soared over an embankment, slamming into the base of a tree, authorities said.

Arnold -- hospitalized after the crash -- was placed on unpaid compulsory leave July 16, according to a LAUSD representative.

From City News Service

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