VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — A former Simi Valley elementary teacher who had sexual contact with an underage student accepted a plea deal with prosecutors Thursday.
Malia Brooks, 32, pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd conduct with a child under the age of 14.
She could get a maximum of 16 years in prison, pay restitution and spend the rest of her life as a registered sex offender when she’s sentenced in August.
Brooks made the deal a day after she pleaded not guilty to charges of lewd acts upon a child, oral copulation of a person under 14 years of age and three counts of genital penetration by a foreign object.
“I was happy to see that this resolved itself quickly, and that for the victim’s sake, he won’t have to go through the trauma of a trial process,” said Ventura County Deputy District Attorney Erin Meister.
“This is what Ms. Brooks wanted to do from the beginning. She wanted to plead guilty before they even told her what the charges were,” said Ron Bamieh, Brooks’ attorney.
On Wednesday, Bamieh said his client was mentally disturbed.
The Ventura County Star reported that Brooks claimed her problems were brought on by abuse she suffered as a teenager when she lived in Sudan with her family.
Allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Brooks, a sixth-grade teacher at Garden Grove Elementary School IMPACT Academy, and a male student first surfaced Feb. 22.
Officials allege the relationship took place over a four-month period beginning in late 2012.
Brooks was placed on leave while police investigated the charges.
She resigned from the Simi Valley Unified School District, where she was employed since 2004, on June 5 and turned herself into authorities Tuesday.