After staring down four years in prison on charges of attempted sexual penetration and assault with a deadly weapon, a San Bernardino teen agreed to a plea deal for probation and 180 days of jail, reports the Associated Press. In exchange for the lenient sentence, Fernando Salgado, 18, will testify against his 27-year-old teacher, Emmanuel De La Rosa.
Authorities say that three boys were attacked in separate incidents in De La Rosa's summer school masonry class. The Los Angeles Times reports that in one incident, three students held down a 14-year-old and pulled his pants down. Salgado then attempted to penetrate him with a piece of steel rebar. Another similar incident, involving another student, involved a broom handle.
The Associated Press reports that De La Rosa is suspected of knowing about the child abuse, and in at least one case, sanctioning it. The reason behind the abuse was supposedly a way for students to maintain order in the classroom. One would think time out or detention would work better.
Salgado's plea deal requires him to testify against De La Rosa. If he testifies truthfully, the attempted sexual penetration count will be dropped. He will then serve three years of felony probation, plus 180 days in county jail.
While his deal is quite lenient, it may have been necessary to go easy on Salgado in order to hold the teacher responsible. Various news outlets have reported that De La Rosa knew about the assaults and even may have sanctioned one of the incidents. Salgado's testimony might be the only proof that De La Rosa knew about the incidents.
De La Rosa is facing five felony charges and a misdemeanor, including attempted sexual penetration with a foreign object and false imprisonment. He has pled not guilty and is due back in court later this month.
- Consult a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
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