Teacher Sentenced for Fondling Girl Students


A veteran Fullerton high school teacher was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation and was stripped of his teaching credentials after pleading guilty to fondling and making sexual overtures to several female students.

George Melvin Fairchild, 53, a former life science and mathematics teacher at Sunny Hills High School, pleaded not guilty last August after he was ordered to stand trial on 15 charges of lewd and lascivious conduct, sexual battery and molesting a child under 18.

On Monday, he reversed his plea, admitting to four of the charges. He fondled the breasts of three teen-age girls and made sexually suggestive comments to two girls, Fairchild told the court.


Orange County Superior Court Judge David O. Carter, who referred to Fairchild’s acts as “offensive” and “damn serious,” added two more guilty verdicts, for a total of six. He ordered Fairchild to receive psychological counseling and to perform 500 hours of community service.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Jo Escobar said after the sentencing: “This was not a case of a teacher patting a student on the head.”

During several months in 1992 and 1993, Fairchild fondled the students’ breasts, commented on their breast sizes and once told a student that she should “use her body to get better grades.”

Defense lawyer Thomas Goethals and Fairchild could not be reached for comment after the hearing.

In emotional testimony before the sentencing, three victims, who remained anonymous throughout the non-jury trial, described the effects of the abuse.

“I have been betrayed and lied to and emotionally damaged for life,” one victim said. “This has totally shattered my image of trusting someone who says, ‘Trust me.’ ”


Said another victim: “What he has done to me can never be taken away or forgotten. The damage he did to me and the other girls was wrong, sick and perverted.”

After the sentencing, Carter asked Fairchild’s friends and family in the courtroom to help him overcome his “sickness.” The judge then appealed to the victims and their families to begin healing and to reach out to other victims of sexual molestation.

By losing his teaching credentials, Fairchild will never be allowed to teach in the state of California. In addition, Fairchild will be registered as a sex offender, making it difficult for him to teach anywhere in the nation, Escobar said.

Carter also prohibited Fairchild from being alone with any girl under 18 years old as part of his sentence. Fairchild could face one to five years in jail if he violates his probation or other court stipulations. Fairchild is to appear again before the court on March 14 for an update on his counseling and probation.