California teacher allegedly arranged beach trip for sex with students


Two female Southern California teachers had sex with male high school students during an overnight beach camping trip that one of the teachers orchestrated, authorities say.

Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, are set to be arraigned in Orange County on Wednesday.

A student Ghirelli is accused of having sex with was under 18 years old, while Lippert allegedly had sex with a student who was 18, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.


Ghirelli faces possible charges of oral copulation and unlawful sex with a minor. Lippert was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

“Legally the student was 18, however ... I think it’s important not to minimize the seriousness” of the possible charges, “whether the student was 18 or 17,” said sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock.

“They’re still high school kids.”

Ghirelli’s bail was set at $50,000 and Lippert’s at $20,000. Both were released from custody by Sunday afternoon.

Lippert, a teacher at South Hills High School in West Covina, allegedly met up with a group of male students at the San Clemente beach in November, provided alcohol and had sex with one student.

She is accused of then arranging an overnight trip there with students and Ghirelli, where the women allegedly had sex with students.

The trips took place over the Thanksgiving and winter breaks, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.


Lippert has worked for the Covina-Valley Unified School District for 15 years and Ghirelli for five years, according to the news outlet reported. Ghirelli coached the girls’ junior varsity softball team at South Hills High from 2010 to 2012 and was later assigned to work in the school district’s offices.

Both women are on paid administrative leave, district spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden told the L.A. Times on Sunday.

Twitter: @AmyTheHub, @LATimesemily