A jury has cleared Christopher John Ontiveros, a former history teacher at the Oxford Academy, of molesting a female student
he met at the respected Cypress high school on several occasions in 2009.
Specifically, the 44-year-old, married, Huntington Beach resident was acquitted
of three felony counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor, oral copulation of a minor and contacting a child
with the intent to commit sexual penetration. A misdemeanor count of touching an intimate part of another person was dismissed by prosecutors before his trial began in Westminster.
It was quite an end for Ontiveros, whose trial began with an Orange County sex-crimes prosecutor and police detectives unveiling their evidence that he used his SUV and classroom for an illegal, five-month sexual affair with a 17-year-old student. Text messages they presented at trial included the teacher supposedly telling the girl, “I want to tongue every inch of you because I love you,” “Today
I want to tear your shorts off and rub your wetness,” and “I want you to
spread your legs wide for me so that I can kiss you everywhere.”
But in his earlier post on the case, R. Scott Moxley mentioned that Ontiveros' attorney, David Cohn, would likely try to undermine the girl's credibility. “She's given
conflicting stories detailing everything from French kissing, fondling,
digital penetration and oral copulation,” Moxley wrote. “In the view of law enforcement,
the discrepancies were due to the victim's initial reluctance to share
events with two male police detectives.”
Cohn told City News Service, “There was nothing to corroborate these
allegations.'' He was able to explain away to the jury supposedly damning photos of Ontiveros with his
arms around the girl's waist. As for the text messages, Cohn noted that the girl strangely deleted every one as she handed her phone to her school principal. Meanwhile, after suing the school, the mystery texts got even more sexually explicit.
The lawyer's theory? The girl wrote the text messages.
Cohn also related to City News something a juror told defense attorneys after the verdicts: “One of the biggest things was the prosecution spent so much time on the
text messages and photos, but they did nothing to support her
credibility because she had lied to so many people.”
He's unsure if his client will attempt a return to teaching.