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Teacher Charged With Statutory Rape

August 18, 1998

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ She first met Joseph CDeBaca when she was 12 years old, a student in his math class. Two years later, she says, she consented to a sexual relationship with her teacher that lasted six years.

CDeBaca, 33, was arrested on Friday and charged with 39 felony counts of statutory sexual seduction, one for each alleged sexual encounter with his former student.

The alleged victim, now 20, did not come forward until last week. Her name was not released.

``I believe that this is not a result of any vendetta on part of the victim,″ Metro Police Lt. Tom Monahan said. ``I do believe that given the clarity and maturity and in hindsight, she realized this was inappropriate for a teacher to be doing.″

Monahan said the relationship began two years after the victim was a student in CDeBaca’s math class at Brinley Middle School in 1990.

``It was certainly non-forcible. She was a willing participant,″ he said.

CDeBaca had taught at Brinley for eight years, then spent one year each at Cheyenne High School and Mojave High School in North Las Vegas. He resigned last week, three days before his arrest.

Ray Willis, spokesman for the Clark County School District, said Monday he was not aware of any complaints filed against CDeBaca.

``If there had been any warning or red flag, we would have been right on top of it,″ he said.

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