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El Monte teacher gets three years in prison for sex with teen girl, had 2005 battery conviction

Richard Paul Daniels, 56 of Fontana, pleaded no contest to a felony count of lewd act upon a 15-year-old child.

Richard Paul Daniels, 56 of Fontana, pleaded no contest to a felony count of lewd act upon a 15-year-old child.

(El Monte Police)

A former El Monte high school science teacher was sentenced to three years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a teenage student in 2013, officials said.

Richard Paul Daniels, 56, of Fontana, pleaded no contest Thursday to one felony count of performing a lewd act on the student, who was 15 at the time. Daniels was sentenced to prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

The ex-Arroyo High School teacher had been previously accused of misconduct involving minors, court records show, and was arrested 12 years ago for an incident while he worked at another school in the El Monte Union High School District.

Prosecutors charged him in 2004 with one count of misdemeanor lewd act on a child and three counts of misdemeanor child annoying and battery, records show. It is unclear whether the victims were students. In April 2005, he pleaded no contest to battery and the other charges were dismissed.

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Daniels was sentenced to three years probation and 30 days community service on the battery charge, said Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

The El Monte Union High School District’s acting superintendent did not return calls Friday seeking an explanation about why the teacher remained a district employee after the 2004 accusations and the battery conviction.

In the latest conviction, Deputy Dist. Atty. Sandra Jimenez said Daniels had a sexual relationship with the teen between April 2013 and late August of that year.

In 2015, a concerned adult alerted El Monte police about an inappropriate relationship between Daniels, who once headed the science department, and the student, according to Jimenez.

When police detectives interviewed the victim, she confirmed that Daniels had initiated a sexual relationship, Jimenez said. Daniels was arrested last September.

Daniels was initially charged with five counts of unlawful sex with a minor, five counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, one count of sodomy of a minor and lewd act upon a child.

The plea by Daniels avoided a potential sentence of 10 years and 4 months in prison.

richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @lacrimes


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