A 30-year-old Downey High School teacher and coach on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges related to an alleged sexual relationship he had with a student.
Brandon James Lee Hitchcock was taken into custody last Friday by Downey police detectives on suspicion of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, according to a news release from the city of Downey.
The arrest came about a week after an investigation began into allegations that he possibly had an inappropriate relationship with a student at the school, the release stated.
As of Wednesday morning, Hitchcock was listed on the school’s website as a social studies teacher. However, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that he was a former teacher and coach at the school.
Hitchock 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 stated in a news release.
Prosecutors have not released the victim’s identity or age, but students told KTLA that she was 17 years old and a current senior at the school.
The criminal complaint stated that the alleged inappropriate relationship lasted about 7 months, according to the DA’s office.
Unnamed sources told the Los Angeles Times that many of many of alleged sex acts occurred inside the classroom where he taught.
If convicted on all charges, Hitchcock faces a maximum sentence of up to about 13 years in state prison.
Hitchock was released from jail Tuesday around 5:40 p.m., according to L.A. County inmate records.
KTLA’s Kacey Montoya contributed to this report.