VISTA (CNS) - A former varsity boys' basketball coach at Vista High School who allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with a female student pleaded not guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a child.
Charlie Jesus Mercado Jr., 36, surrendered to authorities last month after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
On May 11, the alleged victim, a junior at Vista High, told administrators that she was in an "inappropriate relationship'' with Mercado, according to sheriff's Lt. Dan Brislin.
"During the investigation, detectives discovered that Mercado fostered an intimate relationship with the victim and on one occasion met with her off campus, (and) they engaged in inappropriate physical contact,'' the lieutenant said.
Mercado, who had been employed at Vista High since August 2005, was fired shortly after the allegations arose, according to Vista Unified School District Director of Human Relations Kyle Ruggles.
Mercado -- free on $10,000 bail -- had a readiness conference set for Oct. 18 and trial scheduled for Nov. 16.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.
A crash on an Oceanside freeway Saturday morning left two cars on their roofs and sent one person to a hospital, a fire official
Cooler weekend for the County due to a low pressure trough moving through the Great Basin. Weak and shallow marine layer may still be slow to clear.
A stretch of road in National City was shut down briefly after a large crowd took to the streets to celebrate the Mexico national soccer team's 2-1 victory over South Korea today in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The San Diego Humane Society today urged residents to volunteer their homes as foster spaces for the influx of animals typically lost after Fourth of July.
A man was critically injured Friday night when he chased a ball into the street and was hit by a car.
Clayton Richard pitched three-hit ball over six innings for his fourth consecutive win and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Friday night.
A powerful show of support for migrants being held in detention facilities has hundreds of interfaith leaders gathered Friday night for a vigil and demonstration at the border.