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Trial Date Set For Teacher Accused Of Kissing Student On Chest And Head

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Stephen Wolford, 49, was arrested following a six-month investigation after reports of a "possible molestation". (Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.)

Stephen Wolford, 49, was arrested following a six-month investigation after reports of a “possible molestation”. (Riverside County Sheriff’s Dept.)

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A trial date has been set for an Eastvale teacher accused of kissing a female student on the check and head.

Stephen James Wolford, 49, will go on trial February 6, 2012.

He could face four years in prison if convicted of a felony lewd act on a child under 15 years old and a misdemeanor count of annoying a child under 18.

The Lake Elsinore man, who remains free on $25,000 bail, appeared with his attorney before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields. Both the defense and prosecution tentatively agreed they would be ready for trial during the first week of February. Testimony is expected to last five days.

Wolford was arrested last December following an investigation by sheriff’s detectives. The Eleanor Roosevelt High School teacher is on mandatory unpaid leave pending the outcome of his case, according to officials with the Norco-Unified School District.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by sheriff’s Investigator Joel Pabelico, a student at Roosevelt alleged that Wolford kissed her just above the left breast while speaking with her alone after class in May 2010.

The girl, whose identity was not released, also alleged that on four separate occasions, Wolford kissed her on the forehead.

Pabelico said witnesses corroborated the allegations and related that “Wolford focused his attention (on the victim) and made comments to her and her friends,” allegedly saying, “‘You’re my daughters. I’ll take care of you.”‘

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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