Former Fresno High teacher sentenced for sexual encounters with students

As part of the plea deal, John Veloz will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Alyssa Flores Image
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Former Fresno High teacher sentenced for sexual encounters with students
EMBED <>More Videos

As part of the plea deal, John Veloz will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A former Fresno High teacher has been sentenced to two years behind bars for having sexual encounters with students.

As part of the plea deal, John Veloz will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Police officers arrested the band director back in 2018.

Officials say the sex acts happened in Veloz's office multiple times during school hours.

After he was arrested, two other students accused Veloz of inappropriately touching them.

One of the victims had planned on being in court for today's sentencing but his mother says it was too emotionally difficult for him to be there.

"You stole my happiness. You stole my friends. You stole everything," the victim's statement read. "I had to move away from Fresno High because I legitimately got sick seeing the band room."

In his statement, the victim recounted the painful memories of sexual assault during his time as a student musician at Fresno High School.

Veloz was in the courtroom listening as the victim's mother read his statement followed by her own.

"You took his love of music, his love of life. You turned my son into someone I couldn't even recognize," his mother said. "A shell of his former self. Someone withdrawn and void of emotions, he thought of ending his own life."

In 2018, Veloz was arrested after Fresno Police said he had sexual encounters with a 14-year-old music student in his office during school hours over the course of three weeks. In the following days, more students came forward. A 16-year-old and a 17-year-old reported they have been inappropriately touched by Veloz in the band room on campus.

Veloz agreed to a plea deal finding him guilty of one felony count of oral copulation of a minor under 16, a felony count of a lewd act on a child 14 or 15, and a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a minor. Friday morning, his attorney asked the judge to impose probation instead of prison.

"He was going through a difficult time. His spouse had cancer and they were both going through counseling, going through a difficult time." said defense attorney Mark Coleman. "It was a very low point in his life."

Ultimately the court sentenced Veloz to prison for two years. He was immediately taken into custody.

"Nothing can ever bring back what is stolen, but sentencing him to the max will hopefully keep another child safe," said the victim's mother.