Daniel O'Connell. Photo: Website archive Mary Star of the Sea High School.
Daniel O’Connell. Photo: Website archive Mary Star of the Sea High School.

A high school teacher and online tutor will return to court next month after he pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of  possessing child pornography and using a minor for sex acts.

The charges involve a 16-year-old girl the suspect allegedly had contact with online between May 2016 and last month, according to prosecutors.

Daniel O’Connell, 32, is charged with one count each of possession of youth or child pornography, contact with a minor for a sex offense and using a minor for sex acts, according to Greg Risling of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

It wasn’t clear what the alleged sex acts with a minor involved.

O’Connell, who was employed as a physics teacher at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro, was arrested Jan. 10 by Los Angeles police and released on a $20,000 bond the next day.

Detectives began investigating O’Connell after receiving information that he was allegedly “having inappropriate contact with minors that he met while on a mathematics tutoring website,” according to a statement released last month by the Los Angeles Police Department.

O’Connell, who entered his not guilty plea Wednesday, is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom March 22, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to three years in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

–City News Service

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