Sex offender driving instructor held on suspicion of molesting 17-year-old student, authorities say

A California driving instructor whom authorities said was a registered sex offender was arrested last week for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old driving student during multiple lessons, authorities said Thursday.

Tom Lam, 56, sexually assaulted the female driving student earlier this month in Rowland Heights, about 25 miles east of Los Angeles. The girl’s parents had reportedly paid Lam for six driving lessons and the first four were without incident, the Los Angeles Times reported. Lam allegedly assaulted the teen during the last two lessons.

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The victim reported Lam to authorities March 12 and an investigation was opened, the press release said. Amid the investigation, authorities discovered that Lam was arrested in late 2014 for “annoying or molesting a minor” -- also while acting as a driving instructor, authorities said in a news release.

Lam was arrested March 15 in his Montclair home and taken into custody at the Walnut-Diamond Bar sheriff’s station, authorities said. He was released two days later on $140,000 bond, they added, with his next court appearance is slated for April 8 in Pomona.

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Authorities said they believe Lam may have assaulted other victims. Anyone with information on the matter is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273.