A Martinez resident and local teacher is in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility Monday after evidence was developed alleging that he had sexually assaulted a child he had arranged to meet for sex.
Michael Bartel, 33, was booked Friday evening on the charges and others, including possession and distribution of child pornography.
Bartel’s bail has been set at $16 million. Investigators stressed that there is no evidence to suggest the teacher victimized students at Walnut Creek Intermediate school in Walnut Creek, where he taught science, nor during a stint as a substitute teacher for schools in Martinez.
Bartel’s arrest was the result of an investigation initiated by the Martinez Police Department, whose investigators had learned that Bartel was talking online with others and had allegedly made statements about molesting children.
Martinez detectives, along with investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, launched an investigation to determine if the statements were based in fact, arresting Bartel a week later during a traffic stop at the intersection of Danville Boulevard and Camille Lane in Alamo.
Later that Friday afternoon, investigators from the Walnut Creek Police Department executed a search warrant at Bartel’s classroom at Walnut Creek Intermediate and notified school officials of his arrest. A search warrant was also executed at Bartel’s home in Martinez, a spokesperson for the county district attorney’s office reported.
Today, Monday, the district attorney filed a 16 count criminal complaint against the teacher, alleging multiple sex offense committed against a child under the age of 10 years – including oral copulation, arranging to meet a minor for sex and possession and distribution of child pornography. The circumstances of the alleged assault on the child were not specified.
Bartel will make his first appearance in court on Tuesday, November 7 before Judge John Laettner for arraignment.
Anyone with information pertinent to the case is asked to call Senior Inspector Darryl Holcombe, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, at 925.967.2263.