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Tennis Coach Accused of Having Sex With Student

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A popular former English teacher and tennis coach at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach has been indicted on seven counts of having sex with a minor, a 17-year-old female student.

Jack Metalsky, 56, who has been on leave since allegations about an affair with the girl surfaced 13 months ago, also was indicted on three counts of oral copulation with a minor, police said Thursday.

He was arraigned Wednesday, pleaded not guilty and is being held on $130,000 bail, authorities said.

“Mr. Metalsky denies that there was any wrongdoing . . . or that he had any inappropriate contact,” said Ricahrd Schwab, Metalsky’s attorney. Schwab said news of the indictment came as a shock because Metalsky and his family, who live in Manhattan Beach, thought the matter had been investigated and dropped.

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“It’s extremely disturbing. It’s devastating, not only for him but also for his family.”

Manhattan Beach police said the alleged affair came to light after the girl, who played on Metalsky’s tennis team, told her best friend that she was having sex with her teacher. Her friend’s mother called the principal.

School officials immediately put Metalsky on paid administrative leave and notified the Manhattan Beach Police Department, which investigated the case for a year before putting it before the grand jury this week.

If convicted, Metalsky, who taught at the school for 13 years, could face up to nine years in prison, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

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School officials refused to comment on the case, saying that as of last month, Metalsky was no longer an employee.

“It’s sad. It’s tragic. It’s regretful, but I have no comment,” said Principal Lynne McCormack. Last month, Newsweek magazine named Mira Costa one of the top high schools in the country.

As news of the indictment spread across the sprawling Mira Costa campus, students called the alleged affair an isolated incident, but said it had subtly changed their relationship with their teachers.

“A lot of teachers are a lot more careful about everything,” said senior Ian Macpherson. ‘You can’t be as close to your teachers. . . . It has ruined the camaraderie.”

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