Melody Lippert. Michelle Ghirelli
Melody Lippert (l) and Michelle Ghirelli were booked on suspicion of having sex with two teenage male students. Photo courtesy of the OCSD

Two female teachers from the Covina Valley Unified School District are suspected of taking male students to a San Clemente beach and having sexual liaisons there, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Covina residents Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, were arrested Saturday following allegations they engaged in sexual relations with students who attend South Hills High School, Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

They were jailed overnight and released on bail Sunday afternoon, after 1 p.m., sheriff’s department officials said.

They were the second and third employees of the Covina Valley district facing such allegations recently.

Two weeks ago, 29-year-old Covina resident Anthony Viodales — a part-time wrestling coach at South Hills High — was arrested on allegations of sexual contact with a 17-year-old female student.

A spokeswoman for the district said in a news report the teachers have been put on paid administrative pay while the case is in the courts.

“On the evening of Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, the West Covina Police Department contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after obtaining information about the inappropriate relationships and the alleged sexual relations that occurred in our jurisdiction,” Hallock said.

Specifically, Lippert, a teacher at West Covina’s South Hills High, was believed to have met a group of male students last November at San Clemente State Beach, where she is accused of providing alcohol and having sexual contact with one of them, he said.

Several weeks later, Lippert orchestrated an overnight camping trip to the same location with Ghirelli, another teacher, and several of the same high school students, Hallock said.

During that camping trip both teachers allegedly engaged in improper relations with two students, he said.

The camping trip was not a school or district sponsored event, Hallock said.

Lippert — said to be a teacher at South Hills High — was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and posted $20,000 bail.

Ghirelli — said to be a teacher who works out of the district office — was arrested on allegations of oral copulation and unlawful sex and was released on $50,000 bail, Hallock said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department asked anyone with information about the case to call (714) 647-7000.

— City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.