DOWNEY − Brandon Hitchcock, a 30-year-old Downey High School teacher, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to more than a dozen felony charges related to unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage female student. Hitchcock was arrested by Downey Police last Friday after Downey High School officials tipped them off to “a possible inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student(s),” police said.
Prosecutors have not released the identity or age of the victim, but according to the criminal complaint, the social studies teacher had a sexual relationship with the student over a seven-month period.
Hitchcock, who also coached girls’ soccer at Downey High, now faces 10 felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and five counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, authorities said.
The Downey Unified School District announced on Tuesday that Hitchcock, who lives in Lakewood, is now on unpaid leave, but the Board of Education plans to terminate his employment at its next meeting. Hitchcock’s faculty information was removed from the school’s website on Wednesday.
“Student safety remains our number one priority and the school administration without delay, began conducting a thorough investigation,” district officials said in a statement.
If convicted on all charges, Hitchcock faces a maximum sentence of almost 13 years in state prison.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective Joanne Yarbrough at (562) 904-2328.
Published: Oct. 23, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 28