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Ex-Choral Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Rape

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A former choral teacher who was charged in a 1998 rape of a 13-year-old female student pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Antelope Valley Municipal Court, officials said.

Wayne Martin, 50, of Palmdale was charged with forcible rape, child molestation and sexual intercourse with a minor under 16, said Phil Rabichow, head deputy at the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in Lancaster.

The alleged rape took place in January in an office during school hours at Mesa Intermediate School in Palmdale, officials said.

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Martin surrendered to Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday after a two-month investigation.

One issue to be examined in the case is the student’s delay in reporting the alleged incident to authorities, said Kenneth Jones, Martin’s public defender.

Palmdale school Supt. Nancy Smith said Martin had worked in the district since 1990, teaching choral music at several campuses, including Mesa Intermediate. The school district, she said, did not learn of the sexual assault investigation until last week.

Martin resigned from the district in July 1998 when his temporary teaching credential expired, Smith said.

The charges of forcible rape and child molestation each carry a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison, Rabichow said.

The charge of sexual intercourse with a minor carries a maximum prison sentence of four years, he said.

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Martin was held at the sheriff’s Lancaster jail on $110,000 bail. A preliminary hearing has been set for Aug 31.

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