Former Catholic school teacher convicted of lewd acts with teen

Prosecutors: JSerra teacher convicted of sex with student sneaked her past his roommates

An Orange County jury convicted a former Catholic high school teacher of unlawful sex with a teen on Thursday, according to prosecutors.

Ricardo Aldana, 40, was found guilty of three felony counts of lewd acts on a child, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney. 

Prosecutors said Aldana, a former JSerra Catholic High School teacher who taught Spanish, befriended a 13-year-old female student at the San Juan Capistrano school. 

In June 2011, after the girl turned 14, Aldana began grooming the student by exchanging text messages and speaking with her on the phone, prosecutors said.

Three months later, Aldana drove the teen to his Dana Point home while her mother was out of town.

Prosecutors said Aldana sneaked the girl into his bedroom to avoid being seen by his roommates and engaged in "substantial unlawful sex acts."

He took the teen back to her home around 4 a.m., prosecutors said.

Investigators began to look into the relationship after an out-of-state honors academic camp instructor overheard statements that the victim made to other students.

During the trial, a woman testified that she too had a sexual relationship with Aldana when she was 16 years old, prosecutors said, adding that the teacher was in his early 20s at the time.

Authorities did not say whether the witness was also a student at the same Catholic school. 

Aldana faces up to four years and four months in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his July 11 sentencing. 

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