Former teacher in Riverside sentenced to probation, work release for conviction of molesting a high school girl

RIVERSIDE — A former teacher who molested a Riverside high school girl was sentenced Friday to two years felony probation and nine months in a work release program.

John Torrez, 27, of Loma Linda pleaded no contest in May to two counts each of oral copulation of a minor and unlawful intercourse with a person under 18 years old.

Prosecutors objected to the plea, which was directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane, who overruled the objection.

The term of probation and work release stipulation were handed down by the judge after she considered a Department of Probation report on Torrez’s offenses. Work release mandates that a defendant remain employed, attend school or volunteer time during the period defined by the judge.

“Our office filed a brief requesting that the court exercise its discretion and require the defendant to register as a sex offender, which was denied by the court,” District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall told City News Service.

Torrez was arrested in March 2020 following an investigation by the Riverside Police Department, focused on the defendant’s interactions with the North High School student, identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe.”

According to prosecutors, Torrez, who worked on assignment from the Office of Education as an instructor, had multiple encounters with the girl in 2019.

The Riverside Unified School District is being sued by the victim, who is represented by attorney Morgan Stewart.

In his civil complaint filed in February, Stewart wrote that the school district and Riverside County Office of Education “ignored all of the warning signs” that girls were being targeted by the defendant.

Only the one victim was named in the criminal complaint. However, the lawsuit alleges Torrez found opportunities to “be alone with minors in secluded areas of the school, and drive minors off campus.”

“The abuse took place in such locations as the training room at North High School, the storage garage … in Torrez’s personal vehicle and at Torrez’s personal residence,” according to the suit.

Torrez had no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.


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