34-Year-Old 'Teacher of the Year' Jacqueline Ma Arrested for Alleged Sexual Abuse

Chisom Ndianefo
Jacqueline Ma
youtube | CBS 8 San Diego

A former "Teacher of the Year" in San Diego County, California, is accused of sexually abusing a kid under the age of 14 after the victim's mother allegedly noticed something was off and called the police.

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Charged With 3 Counts

According to San Diego County Sheriff's Department records acquired by NBC 7, Jacqueline Ma, a 34-year-old sixth-grade instructor at Lincoln Acres Elementary School in National City, was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and three counts of oral copulation with a child under 14.

The Mom Contacted The Cops

According to National City Police, a worried mother of a 13-year-old former student of Ma's got in touch with them because she thought her child was "potentially having an illicit relationship" with the teacher.

Where She Was Detained

Jacqueline Ma
The New York Post | The New York Post

District Superintendent Leighangela Brady said in a statement to NBC 7 that she was detained on the school property on Tuesday at 8 a.m., but she was not in close proximity to any pupils.

The School Is Only Aware Of One Victim

The superintendent of the National School District told NBC 7 that the school administration is only aware of one alleged victim who is no longer a student.

The School Is Shocked At The News

“We know that our entire school community is as stunned as we were by this news. The district will cooperate with law enforcement and cannot comment any further on the pending investigation. We will continue to do everything possible to keep our students’ safety, needs, and education first and foremost,” Brady said in a statement.

On Finding A Replacement

Jacqueline Ma
The New York Post | The New York Post

The district was however striving to identify Ma's replacement, said Brady.

Where She Was Held

The police reported that Ma had been checked into the Las Colinas Women's Correctional Prison.

When Did The Abuse Happen?

The exact date of the abuse is unknown. Due to the victim's age and the continuing investigation, police have not provided any other details.

How Long Has She Been A Teacher In The School

Lincoln Acres Elementary School
The New York Post | The New York Post

According to her LinkedIn profile, she has been a teacher at the school since 2013, and the San Diego County Office of Education named her one of the "Teachers of the Year" for the 2022–2023 academic year.

Red Flags

Numerous Lincoln Acres parents told NBC 7 that they believed Ma had a wonderful connection with her students, but some saw some warning signs.

A Fellow Student's Sister Reveal Some Facts About Ma

According to New York Post, Aileen Carillo, who spoke to the media revealed her young brother was Ma's previous pupil, and she was "over the top" in her conversations with him.

How Ma Would Go To Carillo's Brother's Games

“She would go to my brother’s games in Tijuana every weekend. She went to one of his birthday parties, everything,” Carillo said.

How She Found It Questionable

Students in a classroom
Unsplash | Kenny Eliason

Aileen Carillo recalled asking her mother why she was contacting her brother so much. She originally thought it was lovely since it demonstrated how much she cared, but she also had many excellent teachers who didn't need to be around.

Six Felonies

The defendant is now charged with six felonies, including three counts of lewd and lecherous behavior toward a victim under the age of 14 and three counts of oral sexual contact with a child.

She's Married

Fox 5 San Diego reported that the defendant is a married woman who’s taught at Lincoln Acres Elementary since 2013.

Proud Teacher Of The Year

Until her arrest, a sign outside the house purportedly displayed her "Teacher of the Year" honors.

On Getting Recognition

Ma received recognition for her work in the classroom in 2022 as one of five teachers in the county.

She Revealed How She Connects With Students

Jacqueline Ma, the San Diego Teacher of the Year, discusses how she connects with disinterested kids in a video interview that KUSI posted just six months ago.

Court Date

A court room
Unsplash | Karl Hedin

The court date for Ma is March 14.

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