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A 27-year-old former trusted high school instructor who molested an underage Riverside school girl was free on bail Saturday after pleading guilty to felony charges.

John Torrez of Loma Linda admitted two counts each of oral copulation of a minor and unlawful intercourse with a person under 18 years old as a preliminary hearing was getting underway Friday before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane at the Riverside Hall of Justice to determine if he would be held to answer to the charges.

O’Rane, who did not indicate what term of imprisonment she might impose, scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 28 and allowed Torrez to remain free on a $100,000 bond.

The defendant was arrested in March 2020 following an investigation by the Riverside Police Department, focused on the defendant’s interactions with the North High School student, identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe.”

According to prosecutors, Torrez, who worked on assignment from the Office of Education as a career technical education instructor had multiple encounters with the girl in 2019.

The Riverside Unified School District is being sued by the teen. The civil complaint filed on her behalf by attorney Morgan Stewart in February alleges the school district and Riverside County Office of Education “ignored all of the warning signs” that girls were being targeted by the defendant.

Neither the school district nor the Office of Education responded to requests for comment at the time.

Only the one victim was named in the criminal complaint. However, the lawsuit alleges Torrez found opportunities to “be alone with minors in secluded areas of the school, and drive minors off campus.”

“The abuse took place in such locations as the training room at North High School, the storage garage … in Torrez’s personal vehicle and at Torrez’s personal residence,” the suit alleges.

Torrez had no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.

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