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East L.A. Coach Accused of Lewd Act With Students

A girls volleyball coach at Esteban Torres High School in East Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Wednesday to sex-related counts involving two 15-year-old girls, but his attorney indicated that a plea deal was in the offing.

Jonathan Adam Roldan, 23, was charged Wednesday with three felony counts each of unlawful sexual intercourse, oral copulation of a person under 16 and sexual penetration by a foreign object. Those charges all pertain to one alleged victim.

He’s also charged with three misdemeanor counts of child molestation involving the second girl, prosecutors said.

Roldan is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with one student beginning in September while “dating” a second student.

He was arrested around 7 p.m. Friday, Dec 13 at his East Los Angeles home. Sheriff’s officials said one of the teenagers told school officials about the alleged sexual contact that day, and they reported it to the sheriff’s department.

Judge Shelly Torrealba ordered Roldan to be jailed on $360,000 bail while awaiting a Jan. 13 court appearance, at which a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

Roldan’s attorney told the judge that his client had been placed on leave, had no prior criminal record and had 20 people in court on his behalf.

“My client voluntarily met with the detective and admitted his involvement in inappropriate conduct with two students. We will be focusing on working with the assigned prosecutor to resolve the case without a trial and ensure that the eventual punishment is proportionate to the conduct alleged and

the individual charged,” defense attorney George F. Bird Jr. said after the hearing.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials said Roldan — who worked as a campus aide as well as a junior varsity girls volleyball coach — will be fired if he is convicted.

“Parents and guardians were notified over the weekend of an arrest by phone,” according to the district. “A letter was sent home today with students. … The district takes these charges very seriously. Every precaution is taken throughout L.A. Unified to ensure the safety of students and staff.”