Married California Teacher of the Year, 34, pleads not guilty to raping 12-year-old girl
A California A teacher accused of abusing her 12-year-old student and allegedly keeping trinkets with his initials, love letters hidden in her classroom and his photo in her wallet has pleaded not guilty.
Jacqueline Ma, 34, a sixth-grade teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School in National City, was arrested twice in one week on multiple charges related to her alleged relationship with the teenager, now 13.
Investigators said Fox News that as part of the incriminating evidence against the San Diego County Teacher of the Year, they also discovered text messages in which Ma became frustrated with the victim when he didn’t respond quickly enough, as well as indecent images.
Ma is accused of also forcing the victim to send her videos and allegedly “taking care of him, giving him gifts, helping him at school and praising him” to maintain a relationship with the child for several months and “even more than a year ” said Drew Hart, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney.
Jacqueline Ma, a California teacher accused of abusing her 12-year-old student and allegedly keeping trinkets bearing his initials, love letters in her classroom and his photo in her wallet, has pleaded not guilty in court
The 34-year-old pleaded not guilty to all charges and her attorney argued for the accused pedophile to be released on bail, but a judge sided with the prosecution and sent her to the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Center in Santee without bail.
Ma was first arrested on March 7, when she was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 and three counts of oral sex with a child under the age of 14, but was released on bail.
The next day, she was arrested again and charged with sexual harassment, witness intimidation and multiple counts of child pornography in connection with the same sexual assault case.
After her second arrest, Leighangela National School District Superintendent Leighangela Brady described the allegations as “deeply troubling” in an email to Fox News.
“Our community has learned that Jacqueline Ma, a teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School, has been re-arrested by law enforcement as their ongoing investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior with minors has yielded additional information to lead to felony charges,” Brady said.
Ma has been placed on leave and “will not be returning to campus,” Brady added.
“While this entire situation is truly very troubling, we are grateful that law enforcement is devoting resources to maintaining the facts and keeping our school district and community informed of their progress,” the superintendent said.
“I am grateful to our entire school community for facing this situation with a shared commitment to do everything we can to continue the education of our children.”
Ma faces up to 29 years in state prison if convicted on all counts, prosecutors said.
Her now-defunct LinkedIn page said she had been a teacher at the school since 2013.
The San Diego County Board of Education named her one of the “Teachers of the Year” for the 2022-2023 school year.
Ma faces 29 years in state prison if convicted on all counts, prosecutors said
The San Diego County Board of Education named her one of the “Teachers of the Year” for the 2022-2023 school year
Ma was a sixth grade teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School in National City
An announcement about her award reads, “She considers the relationships she fosters with her students to be her greatest accomplishments.
“She spearheaded a school-wide plan to improve STEM by engaging outside organizations, including the Salk Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Naval Science Center and the San Diego Zoo, and giving students the opportunity to interact with professionals who are doing the work to better visualize the path to useful cars. ‘ers in the field of STEM’.
Lincoln Acres Elementary Principal Kathy Melanese said in the announcement, “I cannot imagine a more qualified and passionate teacher to receive this honor.
“Ms. Ma’s creativity, initiative, collaboration and 100 percent dedication to her students and the school are immeasurable. When students leave Ms. Ma’s room, they become more confident students, more engaged citizens, and more thoughtful teenagers who know they are loved.”
Police said the student victim no longer attends the school where Ma taught, and it remains unclear how the abuse began.