A former fourth-grade teacher at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary pleaded no contest today to charges that he sexually abused three students at the Wilmington school, as well as a female relative.
Robert Pimentel, 58, of Newport Beach, pleaded no contest to three felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child involving students in the 2011-12 school year and one count of continuous sexual abuse involving a female relative between 2002 and 2004.
Pimentel, 58, is facing 12 years in state prison, along with lifetime registration as a sex offender, according to Deputy District Attorney Lee Ashley Cernok.
Sentencing is scheduled June 19 before Superior Court Judge James B. Pierce, who is also expected to order Pimentel to stay away from the victims for 10 years.
Pimentel began working for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1974 and was removed from the classroom when the investigation began in March 2012, according to police and the school district.
LAPD Detective Gus Villanueva previously said the investigation "began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth-grade teacher."
According to the LAUSD, parents at the school were notified within 72 hours of Pimentel's removal from the classroom last year. The district began efforts to fire him, but Pimentel opted to retire.
Pimentel -- who was charged in January 2013 -- was ordered to stand trial in May 2013 on six counts of continuous sexual abuse and eight counts of lewd act upon a child involving nine students and one female relative.
Ten of those charges involving six former students at the school are expected to be dismissed as a result of his plea, the prosecutor said.
--City News Service