A junior high school teacher charged with sexually molesting one of his students pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was scheduled for a trial in November.
Herbert Okamoto, 53, a teacher for more than 17 years, was charged with five felony counts after a student at Vista del Rio Junior High School said she was molested on separate occasions in January in a school storage room. North Orange County Superior Court Judge James Perez set Okamoto’s trial for Nov. 25. Paul Wallin, an attorney for the wood shop and math teacher, said that he expects the trial will last about six weeks and include 80 witnesses.
“He’s not guilty of anything other than being a good teacher,” Wallin said.
Okamoto has been suspended without pay from his job, Wallin said.