SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A special education teacher accused of committing sex acts with a 4-year-old girl must stand trial on eight felony charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Loren Grage McDonald, a first-year teacher at Olympian High School in Chula Vista, faces 44 years and eight months to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio.
The 37-year-old defendant -- who's being held in lieu of $2 million bail -- was arrested May 6 at his workplace. He was immediately placed on leave upon his arrest.
After a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the downtown courthouse, Judge David Gill found that enough evidence was presented for McDonald to stand trial on multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and committing a sex crime on a child 10 years old or younger, plus an additional count of trying to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime.
The alleged crimes took place in the city of San Diego -- where McDonald lives -- over the past couple of years, according to San Diego police. A readiness conference is scheduled Jan. 10 and trial set for Feb. 3.