A teacher accused of molesting and sending sexual messages to three boys she met while working at a junior high school in Fullerton pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday.
Melissa Lindgren, 28, of La Mirada, allegedly sent sexual text and smartphone messages to the boys — who were between the ages of 13 and 15 years old — for nearly two years, the Orange County District Attorney’s office stated in a news release.
Two of the boys had allegedly been molested by Lindgren in a classroom at Nicolas Junior High School where she was working as a math teacher. She was accused of sexually assaulting the third victim in a car, the news release stated.
One of the victims reported the alleged crime, and Lindgren was arrested on Feb. 21 following a police investigation.
“This occurrence is in direct conflict of Fullerton School District’s zero-tolerance policy on staff misconduct, where the district’s teachers, faculty and staff are held to a higher standard,” according to a statement from the district.
Lindgren has been placed on administrative leave, according to the district, which described the incident as “isolated.”
After being booked, Lindgren posted $100,000 bail and was released.
Lindgren has been charged with five counts of lewd acts on a child, two counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, three counts of distributing pornography to a minor, and faces a sentencing enhancement allegation for lewd acts on multiple children, according to the DA’s office.
Lindgren’s next court date was scheduled for June 13.
If convicted on all counts, Lindgren could face up to 16 years and 4 months in prison.