Former administrator found guilty of sex crimes with student
SAN DIEGO — A former assistant faculty director at a school for troubled and at-risk children was convicted Tuesday of 11 felony counts for initiating a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.
A jury found 53-year-old Kettrell Berry guilty of 11 counts, including unlawful sexual intercourse and committing a lewd act on a child, and acquitted him of two sex counts.
The defendant faces just under 11 years and four months in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 2, said Deputy District Attorney Renee Palermo.
Berry was taken into custody without bail following the verdict.
“I am happy he’s remanded and no longer a danger to the community,” the prosecutor said.
The victim — who turned 16 during her relationship with Berry — testified that she established a bond with the defendant soon after arriving at the school in December 2011.
She said Berry — an assistant principal — would counsel her, meet her after school and listen to her problems. She said she and Berry began hugging at the end of meetings and the relationship turned sexual.
Berry was fired after working at the school for nine years.
During the investigation of the case, authorities found that back in 2003, a 12-year-old girl had made allegations of sexual misconduct against Berry. Now an adult, she testified at trial about what the defendant did to her, Palermo said.
Another 18-year-old woman testified that she began dating Berry about six months after she left the school. The woman — who was addicted to drugs — said Berry preyed upon her, manipulated her, and within seven months she was pregnant with his child.
Palermo said the woman was 19 years old by the time she had the baby.
“It wasn’t illegal, but it shows his course of conduct in using the school essentially as a fishing pond for his dating escapades with these children who are at-risk and troubled,” the prosecutor said outside court.