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Ex-teacher is accused of lewd acts

Times Staff Writer

An assistant administrator with San Bernardino’s school district was arrested Thursday after being accused of having a yearlong relationship with a 14-year-old female student nine years ago when she was a teacher at a San Bernardino middle school.

Michelle Rossi, 36, was taken into custody Thursday morning at her home in Aliso Viejo. Earlier this week, the San Bernardino County district attorney charged Rossi with 12 counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child between September 1998 and August 1999.

The former student, who lives in San Bernardino, went to police several weeks ago to tell them about the alleged relationship because she wanted to “clear the record,” Lt. Scott Paterson, a spokesman with the San Bernardino Police Department, said.

“This victim was a student of [Rossi’s] so the contacts began naturally as they would, and it just progressed,” Paterson said. “The relationship, if you will call it that, occurred over a year.... At that age, it’s never consensual.”

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Rossi was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday “due to the serious nature of the allegations,” Linda Hill, communications director for the San Bernardino City Unified School District, said in a statement. Hill did not respond to questions about how long Rossi has been employed by the district and what positions she held.

Paterson said they were investigating whether other allegations had been made by students against Rossi. Denise Dvorak, supervisor of the district attorney’s family violence unit, said that she could not discuss the case, but that Rossi probably would be arraigned Monday.

Rossi is being held at West Valley Detention Center on $500,000 bail.

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maeve.reston@latimes.com


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