A former Downey High School teacher and girls soccer coach pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of carrying on a sexual relationship with a student for more than half a year, prosecutors said.
Brandon James Lee Hitchcock, 30, of Lakewood was charged with 10 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and five counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said.
Hitchcock is set to make another court appearance Nov. 21.
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Hitchcock, a social studies teacher, was arrested after authorities were contacted by school administrators who learned about the alleged inappropriate relationship on Oct. 9.
According to prosecutors, the criminal complaint alleges that Hitchcock had sexual interactions with a female student over a seven-month period.
Hitchcock faces a maximum sentence of nearly 13 years in prison if found guilty on all charges, prosecutors said.
The Downey Unified School District said Hitchcock was placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Board of Education will decide whether to terminate his contract at its next meeting.
The case was being investigated by the Downey Police Department, prosecutors said.