Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, May 9 @ 5:20 p.m. / Crime

Instructional Assistant at Joe Hamilton Arrested On Child Abuse Charges


An instructional assistant who works in the after school program at Joe Hamilton Elementary School is accused of child abuse, according to Del Norte County Sheriff Garrett Scott.

Deputies escorted Jeanine Michelle Lehman, 31, off campus on Thursday before they arrested her, Scott told the Wild Rivers Outpost. The alleged abuse involves Lehman’s own child, Scott said, “everyone at school was safe.”

“The victims involved have been placed in the care of child protective services,” Scott said. “She wasn’t handcuffed at the school. The deputies let her grab her things and escorted her out to their patrol car and arrested her there.”

Del Norte Unified School District spokesman Michael Hawkins said he was unable to comment on the status of Lehman’s employment. According to a DNUSD Facebook post, Lehman’s arrest occurred at about 3:45 p.m.

“We are fully cooperating with the Sheriff’s Office and our immediate focus remains on supporting our students and staff during this time,” the district stated. “Counseling services will be available at the school to provide support as needed.”

Lehman was booked into the Del Norte County Jail on charges of willful cruelty to a child involving possible injury or death and abuse of a spouse or a child. Her bail is currently set at $25,000, according to the sheriff’s online information page.


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