Preliminary Hearing Postponed For Teacher Accused Of Molestation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Preliminary Hearing Postponed For Teacher Accused Of Molesting Godson

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A defense motion regarding questioning of the alleged victim forced the postponement today of a preliminary hearing for a South Bay elementary school teacher accused of having sex with her underage godson, who was also one of her students.

Carmina Erica Lopez, 33, is charged with eight counts of committing a lewd act on a child. She was arrested in January, when allegations of her alleged four-year sexual relationship with the victim came to light.

Prosecutor Leonard Trinh said he expects to add more charges when the defendant's preliminary hearing gets under way May 6 at the South Bay Courthouse.

Today, defense attorney Robert Boyce filed a motion with the court regarding his cross-examination of the alleged victim.

Lopez, who is out of custody on $150,000 bail, faces more than 19 years in state prison if convicted of the current charges, Trinh said.

At the defendant's arraignment, Trinh alleged that Lopez put her hand on the boy's private parts in the back of her car and did the same thing in her classroom.

Lopez -- who has a 4-year-old son -- is also accused of having sexual intercourse with the alleged victim in her home.

The alleged molestations began when the boy was 11 and Lopez was a sixth-grade teacher at Nestor Elementary School in Chula Vista, authorities said.

The defendant had since begun teaching at Sunnyslope Elementary in the Palm City district of San Diego. She has been placed on leave pending resolution of the charges against her.

County Child Protective Services officials told police of the now-15-year-old's allegation that Lopez had repeatedly forced him to have sex with her, starting in 2004 and continuing until last June.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, a judge will decide if there is enough evidence to order Lopez to stand trial.

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