Opening statements in trial of accused South Bay teacher - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Opening statements in trial of accused South Bay teacher

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CBS 8/CNS) – The trial of a South Bay school teacher accused of having a four-year sexual relationship with her former student begins with opening statements Tuesday.

Carmina Erica Lopez, 33, faces multiple charges of committing a lewd act on a child and one count of furnishing marijuana to a minor. She could be sent to prison for up to 19 years if convicted.

The alleged sexual relationship with the boy began in 2004 and ended in June 2008, authorities said.

The boy testified last May that he had sexual intercourse with the defendant 30 to 40 times in the bedroom of her home, starting when he was 12 years old.

He said that at the time, he was living with his uncle, who wanted to keep him away from his family. The teenager said the only time he could leave his uncle's home was with Lopez.

The alleged victim testified that Lopez would buy things for him and expect something in return.

"If I wanted something, we had to have sex to get it," the boy testified.

He said Lopez bought him a dirt bike, a big radio and a remote-control boat. The defendant also took him to Disneyland and took him and a friend to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Big Bear, he said.

The defendant was arrested in January 2009 when the alleged sexual relationship came to light.

The alleged victim testified at the preliminary hearing that he didn't reveal the relationship because he didn't want Lopez to lose custody of her 4-year-son, whom he treated like a little brother.

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