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Former Franklin High Teacher Charged With Sexually Molesting Students

A high school drama teacher was charged Tuesday with sex-related crimes involving two teenage boys, dating back as far as 1999.

Peter Christoph Gomez, who taught at Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, pleaded not guilty Tuesday at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse to 26 felony counts.

Gomez is charged with eight counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, six counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, five counts of sodomy of a person under 16, three counts of sodomy of a person under 18 and four counts of lewd act upon a child.

The criminal complaint alleges that the crimes occurred between June 1999 and September 2003 and involved two boys who attended Franklin High School at the time.

Gomez, 46, of La Habra, was arrested last Friday by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Northeast Sexual Assault Detail. Police said he was most recently assigned to Bell High School as a drama and history teacher.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn ordered Gomez to remain jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail and set a March 7 bail review hearing. A date is also expected to be set then for a preliminary hearing that will determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

If convicted as charged, he faces up to 20 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.