Former Visalia Unified employee on trial accused of committing sex crimes against 2 children

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In Department 10 of the Tulare County Courthouse Wednesday the first day of witness testimony started in the case against Luis Lopez. (KFSN)

In Department 10 of the Tulare County Courthouse Wednesday the first day of witness testimony started in the case against Luis Lopez.

Lopez, 29, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl while working as a campus supervisor at Valley Oak Middle School.

The girl, who is now 18, testified that she first met Lopez in 7th grade, when she was an office aid. Around that time, he allegedly offered to show the girl his genitals.

The girl attended another school at the beginning of 8th grade, but returned to Valley Oak in April of 2013. That is when Lopez allegedly started pulling her out of class for various sexual acts.

The alleged victim said Lopez took her to the Bronco Room, alone, three different times during her 8th grade year. The Bronco Room is supposed to serve as a game room-- a reward for students who excel in the classroom.

The first time they went into the Bronco Room, the victim said, "My heart was pounding, I just stood there quiet."

After the sex acts, she said Lopez told her not to tell anyone because he could lose his job, his marriage, or go to jail. She said they only communicated face-to-face, no social media, because Lopez thought it would be too risky.

As a freshman at Golden West High School, which is located next to Valley Oak, the victim said she had sex with Lopez on campus again. In February of 2014, she said he tried to have sex with her in a different classroom, but she turned him down.

That same month, in fact just four days later, prosecutors said Lopez committed lewd acts on another child-- this one under the age of 14.

In total, he is charged with 15 felony counts and faces more than 21 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Related Topics:
sex crimesvisaliatulare countycourt caseVisalia
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