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Updated Sep 12, 2012 - 6:12 pm

Glendale teacher arrested for molestation, luring

John Frank Todorich. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

A Glendale teacher who allegedly molested a young boy and attempted to lure another was arrested Sept. 7, the Phoenix Police Department said.

The suspect, identified as John Frank Todorich of Phoenix, is a physical education teacher at Arroyo Elementary School at the Washington Elementary School District. Todorich allegedly created a Facebook profile, including a false photo, that claimed he was a 16-year-old boy. Police say he then used that profile to contact a boy under the age of 15 and solicited him to engage in sexual acts.

The boy's mother noticed the chats, which took place in May, and alerted police.

Todorich, 55, was involved in another molestation investigation in May of 2010, when he was accused of inappropriately touching a student in gym class. However, statements of witnesses and the alleged victim did not match.

"Phoenix police then followed up and they did not make an arrest," said Carol Donaldson with the district. "They told us, in addition to not making an arrest, they did not have enough information to move forward."

During this allegation, Todorich was teaching at Sweetwater School, according to Donaldson.

The Washington Elementary School District said it was alerted on Sept. 6 that Todorich was being investigated and placed him on leave on Sept. 7. The district immediately moved to alert parents. He was arrested on the evening of Sept. 7.

Court documents said Todorich admitted to creating the profile, but said he did not know the victim was a minor, despite records showing the victim specified his age at least two times.

Todorich was charged with one count of child molestation, stemming from the 2010 allegations, and two counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation in 2011. He is being held without bail.

Todorich had worked for the district since 2005 and has worked for several schools in the district.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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