Fernando Salgado, 18, negotiated a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to one count each of sexual penetration with a foreign object and assault with a deadly weapon in exchange for a stayed sentence if he truthfully testifies against his teacher, officials say. The pair is under investigation for an alleged hazing scandal at A.B. Miller High School. Jacob Rascon reports from Fontana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 16, 2012.
A Fontana teenager accused of attempted sexual penetration by a foreign object has accepted a plea agreement and is expected to testify against his teacher in an alleged hazing scandal, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.
During a summer school masonry class at A.B. Miller High School, 18-year-old Fernando Salgado allegedly tried to force a piece of rebar into another student's anus, according to prosecutors. A similar incident allegedly involved a broom handle.
Outside the courthouse Monday afternoon, Salgado explained why he accepted the deal.
"I had people – a cop told me in the morning – people trying to kill me, that’s why I signed this," he said.
Salgado; his teacher, 27-year-old Emmanuel De La Rosa; and three underage students whose names were not released, were arrested in late June.
Earlier in the day Monday, Salgado signed a plea agreement, according to Christopher Lee of the DA's office.
"Today, Mr. Salgado signed a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of assault with a deadly weapon," wrote Lee in an email to NBC4.
Salgado faces up to four years in prison; however the sentence will be "stayed as long as he testifies truthfully against Mr. De La Rosa," wrote Lee.
Pending his testimony, Salgado will then withdraw his plea on the attempted sexual penetration, leaving the assault charge.
"At this point, he would be placed on three years felony probation and do 180 days county jail on weekends," wrote Lee.
Salgado was released from jail Monday evening.
"I just want to say thank you to all them that support me, that’s basically it, because I have a lot. I got letters from people I don’t even know, that’s basically it. I just want to say thank you. That’s all I got to say," he said outside the courtroom.
De La Rosa, who remains in jail, was charged with one felony count of child abuse, two felony counts of attempted sexual penetration with a foreign object, two felony counts of false imprisonment by violence, and a misdemeanor count for failure to report suspected child abuse.
Prosecutors would not comment on the case against the three underage students.