On Thursday, a judge issued a warrant for arresting a former teacher at Granite Hills High School who is accused of engaging in s*xual misconduct with a former female student who was underage at the time of the alleged wrongdoing.
El Cajon police arrested Gerald Lopez, 55, on suspicion of engaging in inappropriate conduct with the victim, who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident. Lopez taught English and coached sports at the East County school.
A misdemeanor offense of irritating or molesting a child is included in the charges brought against Lopez, in addition to felony counts of possessing child p*rnography and mailing harmful material to a kid.
Following a preliminary hearing that lasted for two days in the El Cajon Superior Court, he was required to address the allegations against him. If he is found guilty of all charges, he may spend up to four years and eight months in state pr!son.
During the preliminary hearing, the claimed victim shared her account of how she initially viewed Lopez as a mentor. However, their interactions eventually included romantic text messages and exchanging images.
Most of the evidence produced at the hearing comprised the pair’s extensive text message correspondence.
Let’s see what KUSI News said on Twitter about Former Granite Hills High teacher Gerald Lopez (55), accused of s*xual misconduct with a student, and tune in with us for more detail:
Former Granite Hills High teacher Gerald Lopez (55), accused of sexual misconduct with a student, was ordered today to stand trial on felony and misdemeanor charges.
Lopez was arrested last year for alleged conduct involving the then-17-year-old victim.https://t.co/ujRSfYusg1
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) June 9, 2023
Testimony presented in court revealed that Lopez and the girl had exchanged over 8,000 text conversations over a few months during the investigation.
Evidence indicates that the girl reportedly sent images of herself to Lopez, offering him access to an internet photo album containing semi-naked photographs of herself. Additionally, she emailed Lopez self-taken pictures of herself.
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Even though she stated during her testimony that she cared for him at the time, she now feels “completely the opposite.”
She stated in her testimony that her mother had found out what was going on and had informed the school about it. Initially, Lopez was placed on leave without pay, but in August, administrators with the school system stated that he would no longer be employed by the district going forward.
In addition, Lopez is accused of sending the victim images of himself, which Deputy District Attorney Joshua Brisbane stated in court were “sexually motivated.”
“Under the guise of caring for her, he manipulated (the victim),” the prosecutor said. “The victim was manipulated.”
Lopez is still accessible after posting bail in the amount of $70,000.
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