Trial begins for former South Bay teacher accused of molesting boys

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John Raymond Kinloch

John Raymond Kinloch, 41, is charged with molesting two young boys. He teaches first grade at Wolf Canyon Elementary School in Chula Vista.

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Attorneys began laying out their cases Tuesday in the trial of a former Chula Vista first-grade teacher accused of molesting five boys and persuading boys to expose themselves online.

John Raymond Kinloch, 43, faces multiple counts of committing a lewd act on a child, child molestation and possession of child pornography.  It is the first time that someone in California history is facing charges of committing lewd acts with a child online.  Defense Attorney Kerry Armstrong says they will contest those allegations.

"We are conceding the allegations by AL, that’s 31 and 32… we are conceding that Mr. Kinloch possessed child pornography count 18. We are not conceding and we are hotly contesting the remaining 33 counts. "

A teacher at Wolf Canyon Elementary, Kinloch was arrested in November 2012 after agents from the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched his home in San Ysidro.

Kinloch was released on bail but re-arrested a week later after an investigation allegedly showed that the defendant, while posing as a girl on a website called "MeetMe,'' persuaded boys to disrobe during live one-on-one webcam interactions, according to San Diego police.

Deputy District Attorney Harrison Kennedy  says Kinloch abused his status as a teacher and role model and also pretended to be a  young girl to lure young men online. “On the one hand he was an elementary school teacher…   On the other… he was someone posing as a girl and sometimes a young man online to seduce boys.” said Kennedy in court.

Kinloch was originally charged with molesting one former student, but that number grew to five boys as alleged victims came forward, according to authorities.

Kinloch's attorney admitted in court Tuesday that Kinloch committed some of the crimes.

"Mr. Kinloch is not a saint and has done some things that are wrong. He is guilty of some of these charges – three of the 36," his attorney said.  He didn't elaborate on which charges during his opening statements.

Prosecutors said the first alleged molestation occurred in 2004 or 2005, when a student was 8 or 9 years old. The victim had a relationship with Kinloch at school and away from school, they allege.

"In addition, he posed as a young girl to seduce boys to get them to send him pictures of themselves nude, masturbating, even after they ejaculated." said Deputy District Attorney Harrison Kennedy.

Kinloch faces up to 430 years to life in state prison if convicted.

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