With a friend acting as lookout, a 15-year-old boy had sex with a La Mesa school’s teacher aide under her desk in June after she dared him with remarks such as “you can’t handle it,” an El Cajon courtroom heard Tuesday.
The former aide, Chrystina Delrosario, had sex with the boy two other times, according to the youngster identified in court as Lorenzo.
After more than four hours of testimony, Superior Court Judge Herbert Exarhos ruled that enough evidence was presented at Delrosario’s preliminary hearing to order her to trial on a felony charge of unlawful sex with a minor.
A readiness conference to determine a trial date will take place Oct. 16.
Delrosario, 25, faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
During his testimony, the boy said Delrosario made sexual comments to him such as “you can’t handle it.” But he said they did not have conversations like that a lot.
Lorenzo testified that he and Delrosario “had sex in the classroom, under her desk” in the county-run school the afternoon of June 26.
The school is an educational program for juvenile offenders run by the county Office of Education on behalf of the county Probation Department. A year ago Wednesday, one of its teachers—Alicia McBride of La Mesa—was named one of five county Teachers of the Year. McBride later was a finalist for state Teacher of the Year.
Delrosario, who pleaded not guilty in July, is free on $100,000 bail.
According to testimony, a 16-year-old friend of Lorenzo’s named Dion was a witness in the room as the two had sex.
“Dion was just laughing and was the lookout, making sure no one was coming,” Lorenzo said.
Lorenzo claims that he wore a condom, after Delrosario asked him to wear it. He said she had it in her purse and gave it to him.
After the sex was over he was “not sure what happened to it. I think I threw it away.”
According to the boy, there were multiple sexual encounters between him and the teacher’s aide. Lorenzo also claims that the very same day of the alleged incident, he and his cousin met up with Delrosario and her friend Jessica.
He said the women picked up him and his cousin and the four of them drove to Cowles Mountain. Upon arriving, Jessica and the boy’s cousin left the car, leaving Delrosario and Lorenzo alone. He said he and Delrosario had sex again, in the car.
“She started taking her clothes off,” he told the court. “She was lying on her back; that’s when I put the condom on.”
He said that he threw the condom out the window when he was finished. When Jessica and the cousin returned to the car, the women drove them home.
He told deputy district attorney John Pro that in total, he had sexual intercourse with Delrosario three times—once in the classroom and two times at Cowles Mountain.
During cross-examination by defense attorney Lindsey Mercer, Lorenzo testified that he never asked about Delrosario’s husband.
He also said that while the two engaged in flirtatious acts, he never recalled her saying no, moving away from him or expressing hesitation.
It was also revealed upon cross-examination that Lorenzo never mentioned the second and third sexual encounters to the police when he was interviewed by them.
When asked why he did not mention it, he simply said, “I don’t know. I was being stupid.”
On the day of the alleged incident at the school, Lorenzo said that the sexual activity lasted “about five minutes.” After that, one of the school’s probation officers, Donna McManus, walked in to the class, after she noticed Lorenzo tucking his shirt into his shorts.
Lorenzo said that he told McManus he was “just fixing his shorts.”
The next witness to testify was Dion, 16, who said he was in the classroom “keeping a lookout” as Lorenzo claims he and Delrosario had sex.
Dion testified that Delrosario had had conversations with him about how “she kinda liked [Lorenzo], but she would [have sex with him] but didn’t want to because she didn’t have a condom and didn’t want anything bad to happen.”
Unlike, Lorenzo, who in his testimony said that he never kissed or touched Delrosario, Dion told prosecutors that the two were often flirtatious, adding that they would kiss each other on the mouth, and were grabbing and hugging.
Dion claims that he witnessed the sexual incident briefly in the classroom, before he was asked by Delrosario to watch the door.
He said that she pulled her pants down and the two disappeared beneath her desk. He claims the incident lasted three to five minutes, and that the incident stopped when a phone call was made to the phone on Delrosario’s desk.
He said she pulled up her pants and took the phone call. He said he did not know who was on the other end, or what the nature of the call was.
He also said that after the incident, while he was waiting to be picked up from school, he spoke to Delrosario, who told him that she felt bad about what happened, and said how “her life was ruined.”
He also said that the three of them would often work alone on a side project, and that Delrosario had said, “That can’t happen.… That’s wrong.” But on the day of the incident, Dion said that Delrosario told him, “she was just going to let it happen.”
Dion also said that he and Lorenzo talked a few times about the incident, but that Lorenzo never mentioned going to Cowles Mountain with Delrosario.
While there were some inconsistencies with the testimonies of the young boys, the testimony of La Mesa police detective Jason Sieckman, who works in the child abuse division, was damning against Delrosario.
Sieckman, who interviewed both the defendant and the victim in the case, told the court that initially Delrosario denied the accusations of an inappropriate sexual relationship with Lorenzo, but that that story soon changed.
“She later admitted that they touched each other inappropriately, and ultimately she admitted that they did have sexual intercourse under the desk,” said Sieckman, a 10-year veteran of the LMPD.
“[Delrosario] felt bad. She knew it was wrong, and knew that what she had done was wrong,” he told the prosecution. “Initially, she told me that she tried to stop, but later admitted that she didn’t initiate the contact, but didn’t do anything to stop it either.”
He also said that it was revealed that Delrosario did have photos on her phone of herself in lingerie in seductive poses, including one that exposed her breasts. Sieckman said that Delrosario told him during the interview that it’s possible Lorenzo had seen the photos, because [the students] often had access to her phone.
McManus, the probation officer at Reflections, also testified as a witness called by the prosecution. McManus said she witnessed Lorenzo tucking his shirt into his shorts on the day of the incident, and called him out to talk to her in the hallway.
“I had some speculation that there was some flirting going on,” McManus said. “I had advised her to keep her doors opened, just because it might look bad. I stopped and looked in because I saw the door closed, and because I had asked her two or three times personally to keep it open.”
McManus said that she also knew of other colleagues who had asked Delrosario to keep the doors open as well.
—City News Service contributed to this report.