Sex offense trial begins against former high school teacher

FRESNO — Monday marked the first day of trial in the case against former University High School teacher Jonathan Malcolm, who is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with three students.

Jonathan Malcolm

According to prosecutor Galen Rutiaga, Malcolm had sexual physical contact with one student and sent inappropriate text messages to two other students.

Defense attorney Roger Nuttall said that Malcolm admits to crossing the line with his students and said that his behavior was “distasteful, inappropriate and disgusting.”

“He will be the first to admit that befriending them, treating them as equals so to speak, became… inappropriate,” Nuttall said.

Nuttall said that while Malcolm deserved to be fired, he is innocent of many of the criminal charges against him.

Prosecutors claim that Malcolm’s actions were not only disgusting, but also illegal. They said that he had physical contact with a 17-year-old and sent graphic text messages to two other teenage girls.

One of the girls who received text messages from the teacher testified that the content of those messages alluded to wanting to have sex with her.

Prosecutor Rutiaga said that in Malcolm’s contact with one of the girls, he inquired about the girl’s level of sexual experience and asked if she was a virgin.

Malcolm is facing 13 felony counts.

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