FRESNO – After deliberating for only one day, a Fresno Superior Court jury found a former high school teacher guilty Thursday of 13 felony charges that had to do with inappropriate sexual relations with his students.
Jonathan Malcolm, 33, who was employed by University High School in Fresno as a music teacher, was convicted of having a sexual relationship with a former underage student and exchanging explicit text messages with two other students.
During his testimony last week, Malcolm admitted to having a sexual relationship with a former student who was just shy of 18 years old. He said the conversations with the University High graduate began over the phone but then moved to more personal interactions when they began to meet face-to-face.
“Our conversations did turn sexual in nature,” Malcolm said.
Malcolm testified that he did know the girl was not yet 18. He said their interactions happened during a difficult time in his marriage.
Malcolm also admitted on the stand that he had sent text messages with “inappropriate banter” to two other students. His attorney, Roger Nuttall, said that he was not trying to seduce the students.
After the trial, Nuttall said that Malcolm is remorseful for his actions and has been in counseling.
Malcolm is scheduled to be sentenced on March 21. He faces up to 11 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender.