NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — A former Spanish teacher and soccer coach at a Roman Catholic high school in San Juan Capistrano pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of having sex with a 14-year-old student.
Ricardo Aldana, 37, faces seven felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child, according to Deputy District Attorney Jana Hoffmann.
Aldana, who was arraigned at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, is next due in court on Feb. 24 for a pretrial hearing, defense attorney Michael Molfetta said.
Aldana was fired from JSerra Catholic High School, where he coached the boys soccer team, upon his arrest in December.
The defendant met the girl at JSerra when she was 13, according to prosecutors, who allege he had sex with her in his Dana Point home while her mother was out of town last September.
Last June, when the girl was 14, he allegedly massaged her in an inappropriate way. He also allegedly sent text messages to the girl and talked to her by telephone.
Molfetta denied the charges against his client, and criticized prosecutors for putting out a news release about the arrest and the charges.
“When live bullets start to fly and facts are brought forth, the truth shall come out,” he said. “That is when press releases matter. Until then, let’s save some trees and do our talking in court.”
If convicted as charged, Aldana could get up to seven years in prison.
(©2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)