A former Santa Ana College instructor has been charged with molesting a teenage high school student who was enrolled in his welding class in 2015, and authorities believe there could be more victims.
George Moreno, 59, of Cherry Valley, was arrested Tuesday at Alessandro High School in Hemet, where he was employed as a welding instructor, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Moreno was charged with four felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a 15-year-old.
“Teachers are entrusted with our most precious resource — our children,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Classrooms should be safe place where children can learn — not hunting grounds for predators.”
Santa Ana police were notified about Moreno in August 2019, when a woman told detectives she had been sexually molested by him when she was 15. She said the molestation began in 2015 and told police about numerous incidents that happened at the college over a three-year period, prosecutors said.
Moreno was a welding instructor at Santa Ana College from 2007 to 2018. Students from Santa Ana Middle College High School were enrolled in Moreno’s class during that time.
If convicted as charged, Moreno faces a maximum sentence of five years.
He was released from the Orange County Jail after posting $50,000 bail, officials said.
Authorities believe Moreno, who taught at several high schools and community colleges across Southern California, may have additional victims and are asking for the public’s help in identifying other possible victims.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Santa Ana Police Detective Gerry Corona at 714-245-8343, Gcorona@santa-ana.org. Anonymous tipsters can also contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.