CHULA VISTA, Calif. — The preliminary hearing in the case against a National City educator accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old former student has been pushed to August.
The decision was made by the court and sixth-grade teacher Jacqueline Ma’s attorneys during a readiness conference held Friday morning. Her next appearance is slated for July 26.
Ma, who was named as a San Diego County “Teacher of the Year” earlier this year, was charged with 15 felony counts, including possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. She pleaded not guilty to these charges during her arraignment last month.
The former Lincoln Acres Elementary School teacher was first arrested on March 7 at the campus, according to school officials. She posted bail following that arrest, but was taken into custody again on additional charges two days later.
During her arraignment hearing last month, Deputy District Attorney Drew Hart said that Ma allegedly had a photograph of the victim in her wallet when she was arrested, as well as jewelry with his initials and love letters.
Hart continued at the arraignment, calling the defendant “…obsessive, possessive, controlling, and dangerous.” Ma was later denied bail after being deemed a flight risk by the court at the March 13 hearing.
“We are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision, we do not feel that Ms. Ma is a flight risk or a danger to the community in spite of all the charges that the people have filed in this case,” Ma’s lawyer said after the hearing last month.
Ma remains in custody at the Las Colinas Detention facility in Santee, according to online prison records. If convicted on all 15 charges, Ma could see nearly 30 years in prison.