Courtroom gavel
A courtroom gavel. File photo

A former Granite Hills High School teacher pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor.

Gerald Lopez, 54, who taught English and coached sports at the East County school, was arrested last week by El Cajon police.

The criminal complaint filed against Lopez charges him with felony counts of possessing child pornography and sending harmful matter to a minor, as well as a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child for conduct that allegedly occurred in June. The complaint alleges he possessed child porn between March and June of this year.

He faces up to four years and eight months in state prison if convicted of all charges. County jail records do not indicate that he is in custody.

The allegations first surfaced in June, when the Grossmont Union High School District said it had placed a teacher on unpaid leave amid “very disturbing” sexual misconduct allegations. School district officials said they reported the allegations to police and Child Protective Services, and Lopez no longer works for the district.

— City News Service