Ever since the LAPD accused former P.E. teacher Antonio Gomez in March 2007 of doing dirty things with five female students, he's maintained his innocence.
But today -- post-Miramonte scandal, we might add -- a seven-man, five-woman jury disagreed on account of two of those girls, declaring 36-year-old Gomez guilty of 12 felony counts of "lewd act upon a child."
Of the handful of young teens who originally came forward...
... the D.A. only decided to charge the Stevenson Middle School teacher with molesting one girl who was under 14, and one who was "14 or 15" years old.
The D.A. alleged that Gomez sometimes took the girls into his P.E. office or the school's weight room to sex them up. The activity occurred for months on end in 2005 and 2006.
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An anonymous user on RateMyTeachers.com said in 2010 that Gomez "was and still is a messed up person for what he did. He always thought he was a ladys guy and a badass." Another user wrote, "He penetrated all the hoodrats."
However, just a few days ago, someone else on the site contradicted those allegations by writing that "Gomez did not do anything to those girls! he was a nice guy who knew how to make PE fun. he treated everybody equally and was fun to talk to. respected everybody even when nobody respected him. HE WAS AWESOME!"
Ever since he was arrested in 2007, Gomez has been free on $620,000 bail. But now, the judge ordered that the ex-teacher be jailed (sans bail) until his sentencing on June 27.
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"Obviously, we're disappointed," his lawyer tells City News. "He still maintains his innocence and will be appealing.''
More from the original LAPD release:
Antonio Gomez, 35, lives in Downey and teaches at the Stevenson Middle School in East Los Angeles. In February, detectives began investigating Gomez for acts related to current and former students. So far, five girls have come forward, two of them sisters. The victims range in age from 13 to 16 years old.
Detectives assigned to Robbery Homicide Division served a search warrant at Stevenson Middle School and Gomez's home on March 6, 2007. Detectives arrested Gomez and charged him with Lewd Acts with a Child under 14. He posted $100,000 bail the same day.
Detectives believe Gomez may have been involved in other illegal acts with minors. Detectives noticed items at Gomez's home that suggested he could be involved in coaching local youth sports.