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Former teacher gets 12 years in sex-abuse case

A 58-year-old former teacher from Newport Beach was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing three of his students and a relative.

Robert Pimentel pleaded no contest in Los Angeles Superior Court last month to charges that he abused the four girls between 2002 and 2012.

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A judge also ordered Pimentel to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and stay away from his victims for the next 10 years.

Pimentel's crimes came to light in Los Angeles in March 2012, when one of his students at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington said he'd inappropriately touched her.

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Police investigated and eventually charged him with one felony count of continuous sexual abuse and three felony counts of lewd acts on a child.

Years earlier, Pimentel was the target of a molestation investigation in Orange County.

Newport Beach police submitted a sexual abuse case in 2005, but prosecutors never filed charges because of "insufficient evidence, lack of corroboration, problems with the availability of witnesses and other evidentiary issues," Susan Kang Schroeder, Orange County district attorney chief of staff, said last year.

Those charges, which involved one victim from Newport Beach, were eventually rolled into the Los Angeles County district attorney's case.

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Pimentel has been behind bars since his arraignment in January last year.

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