Another day, another history teacher who lives in Orange County fighting a case involving sexual relations he had with an underage teen girl from one of his classes in Los Angeles County.
Thursday, it was Anaheim's Steve Andrews, who was convicted of multiple, repeated sexual acts with a 13-year-old girl he taught at Lorbeer Middle School in Diamond Bar. Today, it's Cypress' John Gilbert Orellano, who already pleaded no contest to sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl he taught at California High School in Whittier. Now she's suing him claiming he began luring her when she was 15.
The Whittier Union High School District is also named in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, where the school system is accused of general negligence, negligent hiring and retention of an employee, negligent supervision and breach of mandatory duty.
The now-18-year-old woman's actual complaint states the district should have known Orellano was often alone in his classroom with her and that he should never have been hired in the first place in 2010 due to problems he is alleged to have had at previous schools where he taught.
Orellano, 37, who was also California High's junior varsity boys basketball coach and later resigned from the school district, is accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the suit, which seeks unspecified compensatory damages from him and Whittier Union.
A short time after the then-15-year-old began her sophomore year in the 2011-12, Orellano befriended her, complimented her on her looks and invited her into his classroom at lunch and after school, according to the complaint, which adds she went on to serve as his teacher assistant during her junior year.
This led to an exchange of text messages that, according to the suit, were part of a “calculated plan to have [her] become emotionally attached to him.” The texts would eventually become very personal and then quite sexual, the complaint alleges.
The teen eventually believed she was in love with Orellano, and their sexual relationship started early in 2013, states the suit. She was 17 by then.
School administrators found out about the text messages in March of that same year and launched an investigation that led to Orellano being suspended and later resigning. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was also notified, which resulted in an investigation by sheriff's Special Victims Bureau detectives who later booked Orellano at the Norwalk Sheriff's Station in May 2013.
Under a deal with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, Orellano pleaded “no contest” in July 2013 to a felony charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. As part of the agreement, another count of unlawful sexual intercourse and two counts of oral copulation with a minor were dismissed.
In September of that same year, Orellano was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation. He was not ordered to register as a sex offender.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.