LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A Las Cruces teacher accused of molesting three of his students made his first appearance in court on Monday.
Jesus Solis is charged with 52 counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor.
Solis is a teacher at Desert Hills Elementary School.
Court documents show Solis allegedly molested three fourth-grade students over the course of almost two years.
"The worst feeling any dad can go through I think is knowing that you weren't there to protect her," said the father of one of the students Solis is charged with molesting.
The father was devastated by the news his daughter could be a victim of sexual molestation by a teacher.
He was relieved when Solis was arrested, even though it came two months after the allegations came to light.
"We felt like a weight had been lifted off of our shoulders. It just feels like the machine is moving now. Things are actually starting to happen," the father said.
According to court documents, three girls told police Solis would touch their breasts and buttocks over their clothes. All three girls claimed this happened at their school.
"The innocence of our daughter has been taken away. How do you repair that? How do you prepare for that? How do you fix that? That's what we're going through now," the father of one of the girls said.
On Monday, a judge changed Solis' bond to $80,000 secured. After the arraignment, Solis' family refused to answer any of ABC-7's questions.
"Mr. Solis, as the judge commented, is presumably innocent and has had a huge outpouring of support from the community. Teachers, parents, ex-students who strongly support Mr. Solis advise us that none of these allegations are true, so we feel real confident in the defense," said Herman Ortiz, Solis' attorney.
A spokesman for Las Cruces Public Schools would not comment on the arrest. He did say Solis has been placed on administrative leave.
One of the girls' parents told ABC-7 the school district needs to do more to protect its students.
"This is a learning experience for us trying to understand how something like this happens, how it goes on in our schools. I don't know what the answer is, but I think there is going to have to be a real look at policy and how they vet people. I don't know how you go out and try to do something like this?" the father said.
Solis' attorney said Solis should be out of jail by Monday night.