A fourth-grade teacher at Rosewood Elementary School in Los Angeles pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony child abuse count for putting a plastic bag over a 10-year-old girl’s head in class.
Thelmo Garcia, 37, will be barred from teaching minors under 18 while on probation for five years. She was also ordered to complete 52 weeks of child abuse counseling, attend weekly psychiatric counseling for an undetermined amount of time and perform 100 days of Caltrans work, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
If Garcia successfully completes all of the required terms and conditions, his felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor when he returns to court for sentencing in two years, according to Deputy District Attorney Samuel Hulefeld.
He faces up to six years in state prison if he fails to comply with the conditions, the prosecutor said.
Garcia put a plastic bag over the girl’s head during class, then removed it after several seconds, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The girl was not injured during the Feb. 5 incident.
He was arrested off-campus in March.
Garcia’s status with the Los Angeles Unified School District was not immediately known.
An LAUSD spokeswoman said after Garcia’s arrest that he had been removed from the Rosewood campus in February.
— City News Service