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|Former Elementary Teacher Pleads No Contest To Molestation Charges|
|Written by San Fernando Valley Sun|
|Thursday, 23 August 2012 01:55|
SAN FERNANDO (CNS) – A former third-grade teacher at Telfair Elementary School in Pacoima pleaded no contest to molesting 13 children over a roughly four-and-a-half-year period.
Paul Chapel III, 51, is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison when he returns to court Sept. 20, according to the District Attorney's Office. He pleaded no contest to 13 counts of lewd acts on a child – one for each of his victims, prosecutors said. As part of his sentencing, Chapel will also be ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Chapel was originally charged last fall with sexually abusing three girls and a boy. In May, he was charged with molesting nine more kids, male and female. Prosecutors said the abuses took place between September 2006 and April 2011.
He was removed from the classroom in April 2011, and was fired by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in March. Chapel entered his plea just before a hearing was expected to begin before San Fernando Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash on whether there was enough evidence for Chapel to stand trial. Two former Telfair students sued Chapel and the LAUSD in July, alleging Chapel touched them inappropriately and that the district failed to protect them.
The lawsuit contends that Chapel was accused of molesting an 8-year-old boy at his Ventura County home in 1997, and reassigned by the district temporarily to an administrative office. A jury that heard the criminal case against him could not reach a verdict and he was eventually allowed back into the classroom and assigned to Telfair School in 1998, the suit states.
LAUSD originally hired Chapel in 1989. According to the lawsuit, he was sued for making vulgar remarks and showing an inappropriate video at the private Chaminade High School in West Los Angeles. LAUSD officials had no comment on Chapel's plea, but said letters were sent to the homes of students explaining the court action.
Mike Terry contributed to this story.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2012 05:45|