Two Southern California teachers were arrested Saturday and charged with having sex with high school boys during beach outings.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department booked Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, into jail on bail of $20,000 and $50,000, respectively, after investigators were tipped off about the allegations by the West Covina Police Department, according to KABC-TV
The women were expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported
that Lippert, an English teacher at South Hills High School, and Ghirelli, who was working in the district office on special assignment, are both accused of being involved in sexual conduct with male students in different trips to San Clemente State Beach last year.
The Valley Tribune wrote that according to Covina-Valley Unified School District records, Ghirelli coached girls' junior varsity softball at South Hills from 2010 through 2012.
Authorities told the Valley Tribune the alleged conduct started when Lippert met a group of male students at the state beach in Orange County in November.
"During the meeting at San Clemente State Beach, Lippert provided alcohol to students and engaged in a sexual relationship with one of them," stated an Orange County sheriff's department statement.
"Several weeks later, Lippert orchestrated an overnight camping trip to the same location with Ghirelli and several of the same high school students," the sheriff's department statement continued, per the Valley Tribune. "During the camping trip, Lippert and Ghirelli are suspected of engaging in sexual relations with two students."
It is the second time in nearly two weeks that the school has been rocked by a teacher sex scandal, reported KABC-TV. Authorities arrested South Hills High School walk-on girls' wrestling coach Anthony Vadales, 29, of Covina on suspicion of having sex with a female student on Jan. 7, noted the television station.
"A teacher is a position of authority," Orange County Sheriff Lt. Jeff Hallock told KTLA-TV
, speaking about the charges against Lippert and Ghirelli. "They’re trusted. Parents send their kids to school every day and expect that they're safe. To compromise that safety, to compromise that trust that we have in our teachers, is taken very seriously."
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