Ex-Marlborough School teacher charged with sexual abuse of another student

Ex-Marlborough School teacher charged with sexual abuse of another student
Former teacher Joseph Thomas Koetters, left, appears athis arraignment on felony sex counts on Feb. 25. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A former Marlborough School teacher accused of sexually abusing a student was charged Monday with 10 additional sex crimes involving a second student.

The new charges allege that Joseph Thomas Koetters had a sexual relationship with another 16-year-old girl between February and June 2004, according to the district attorney's office. The second victim recently reported the incident to police, the office said in a statement.


During a hearing Monday morning, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert C. Vanderet ordered Koetters not to have contact with the second former student.

Koetters stared ahead, with his hands clasped at his waist. His attorney, Leonard Levine, said, "That's fine."

The judge increased Koetters' bail to $490,000 -- an additional $350,000 for the charges filed Monday. A bondsman came to court with Koetters, and his attorney said he was prepared to post bond.

Levine declined to comment on the additional charges, saying he hadn't had time to review them.

The new charges include five counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object and five counts of oral copulation. Koetters pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of more than 11 years in prison, the district attorney's office said.

In the charges filed earlier this year, prosecutors alleged that Koetters began a yearlong sexual relationship in 2000 with a 16-year-old girl while he was teaching English at Marlborough School, a private school in Hancock Park.

The former student's attorney, David M. Ring, previously told The Times that the relationship began with the teacher complimenting his client. The lawyer said Koetters then orchestrated one-on-one meetings at which he made her feel like "the special star student" and placed his hand on her knee. The relationship escalated, Ring said, and the teenager eventually became pregnant by Koetters and had a miscarriage.

Koetters, who was arrested Feb. 4 and released on $140,000 bail, was initially charged with two counts each of oral copulation of a minor and sexual penetration by a foreign object.

The allegations against Koetters were first reported in 2014 by BuzzFeed.

The former student listed in the initial charges filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court last month. The lawsuit accuses Marlborough, an elite, all-girls school, of ignoring past allegations of wrongdoing by the teacher.

Prosecutors say that the former Marlborough student – identified in civil court documents as a 30-year-old woman now – went to the police in July after reading about allegations of sexual harassment by Koetters in an essay written by another former Marlborough student that was published in the online magazine xoJAne.

For more news from the Los Angeles County criminal courts, follow @marisagerber