Central Unified teacher had 4 underage victims in sex crimes, prosecutors say

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Prosecutors charged Michael Dean Morton with four crimes dating back 10 years and each of them involved a different young victim. (KFSN)

The Central Unified teacher arrested last month for sex crimes with a minor committed sex crimes with four different kids, according to prosecutors.

They charged Michael Dean Morton with four crimes dating back 10 years and each of them involved a different young victim.

The former Central West High School math teacher pleaded not guilty Monday morning and he's now a free man on a $40,000 bond.

Morton kept his back to our camera as he made his first court appearance. And as he walked out, the 40-year-old educator held up a brand new restraining order to hide his face.

"Mr. Morton, did you have anything to say about this case?" an Action News reporter asked him.

Morton gave us no answer, but his silence hasn't kept investigators from learning more about his alleged crimes.

Sheriff's deputies arrested him in March on a single accusation from a girl who graduated but was still under 18 when she said she started a sexual relationship with Morton in the summer of 2015.

But the charges against him include a molestation a couple years before that, and two cases of showing pornography to a minor -- to one kid in 2008 and to another in 2007.

"So now you're looking at a pattern and when you look at a pattern in a teacher, then you become concerned," said legal analyst Ralph Torres.

Torres says because more victims came forward, Morton may look to a jury like a predator whose crimes escalated, so prosecutors are in a better position.

From a defense perspective, he says Morton's lawyer will have to attack the kids who reported the crimes.

"The issue is whether or not the alleged victims are telling the truth," Torres said. "So as a defense lawyer, that's what we'd be looking for, challenging them."

Even if he's convicted on all four charges, Morton would only face about seven years in prison.

Central Unified says he's no longer an employee there, and the state commission on teacher credentialing has asked the court for information on the case.

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