Alex Bassinne has accepted a plea deal that has the 50-year-old former math teacher in Santa Ana schools pleading guilty to molesting two teen girls and possessing child porn in exchange for a one-year jail sentence, three years of probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
If Bassinne had fought the charges and lost, he faced more than nine years in state prison, prosecutors previously indicated.
He accepted the deal Tuesday from Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robison, copping to felony counts of lewd acts on two children and possession of child pornography.
Bassinne had taught at Santa Ana High School and Raymond A. Villa Fundamental Intermediate School before retiring. He and his family had from Laguna Niguel to Newport Beach but left behind a desk where someone found a computer disc of graphic pornographic images of girls ages 10-12. That led to a police search of Bassinne's Newport Beach home and the discovery of additional child pornography.
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When it was learned Bassinne had been a schoolteacher, the probe shifted to his former classrooms. That's when police and prosecutors learned Bassinne touched a 15-year-old girl's butt during a Feb. 15, 2009, class trip, and that he pulled and stared down the shirt of a 13-year-old girl in early November 2010. The Orange County District Attorney's office had further alleged Bassinne talked dirty with students and leered at girls while teaching in Santa Ana.
He is scheduled to report to jail Jan. 11.