YUMA, Ariz. - From the classroom to behind bars.
A Yuma Union High School teacher has posted bond after being arrested last Thursday.
A viral video showing Cibola High School drama teacher, John Robert Titensor, doing what the victim said was exposing himself to children.
The former Teacher of the Year nominee now has a misdemeanor charge for public indecency on his record.
The incident happened last Thursday, March 21, when the 25-year-old victim, took a video of Titensor “showing himself” in the park near the Ocean to Ocean Bridge.
Sergeant Lori Franklin with Yuma Police Department (YPD) said they received the video through an instant Facebook message stating the man was, “doing an act of what appeared to be masturbating, and stating there were kids around the area."
Later that evening, officers made contact with Titensor.
“The subject in the video at that point stated that he had just been urinating in the park,” Franklin said, an incident that is still punishable by law.
According to YPD, that same night, Titensor was taken into custody.
Titensor appeared in court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty.
Erick Esquivel, a student of Titensor’s drama class, said he feels safer now that he knows Titensor was arrested.
“Say he wasn’t arrested and he was able to go back and work at the school again, I wouldn’t be able to see him the same. I do think it was a good thing he was arrested and I feel good about it,” said Esquivel.
He said he wanted to speak out to make the community aware of how these things can happen close to home.
“Seeing this teacher that I start to get to know and understand just possibly do something that was not right, I thought maybe I could give a little more insight because I had him as my teacher,” said Esquivel.
Esquivel said he is in favor of Titensor, also saying he may be misunderstood, but also has reason to believe this behavior was not that surprising.
“One instance, one of my friends, she had said that he might’ve made a remark that wasn’t appropriate,” said Esquivel.
As heard from another teacher, Esquivel said Titensor was “going to take some time off.”
However, he said as of today, the school has not addressed the arrest nor Titensor’s absence from the school.
“One thing that was confusing is that the school wasn’t willing to speak out about it which kind of makes me feel a little bit on the unsafe side,” said Esquivel.
Esquivel believes the school hasn't done a good job at keeping the student body informed about the situation.
“There’s been so many different stories of how it could’ve gone and that someone might not get the right impression about him and it could’ve been misunderstood. It was kind of confusing because it was just one week where he didn’t show up to class and no one really knew anything about it at all,” said Esquivel.
Esquivel hopes his drama class will be able to move on past the incident and continue learning.
“I would say to anyone that would be angry at him, to feel relieved that now at least he isn’t working at the school and to try and move on because that’s the best thing to do. To not sit on something,” said Esquivel.
The Yuma Union High School District confirmed that Titensor is a YUHSD employee but had no further comment.