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O.C. man pleads guilty to extorting teacher accused of having sex with students

August 18, 2009 |  5:51 pm

A man who threatened to report a high school band teacher suspected of having sex with students unless she handed over cash and nude photos of herself pleaded guilty today to extortion.

According to prosecutors, Miguel Lopez, 23, of Anaheim learned of the El Modena High School teacher’s suspected acts in early 2008 and sent her messages via e-mail and a phony MySpace page demanding thousands of dollars in exchange for his silence.

The band teacher, Carlie Rose Attebury, 30, of Orange reported the threats to police but was subsequently arrested on suspicion of having sex with a minor. She is scheduled to be arraigned in September.

“He clearly should have just turned her over to law enforcement or school authorities,” said prosecutor Todd Spitzer.

Lopez was sentenced to three years of informal probation and faces six months in jail if he does not successfully complete the term.

“It was as a result of that criminal investigation against him that led us to [Attebury’s] unlawful acts,” Spitzer said. “Does [Lopez] have to be held responsible? Yes. But he has a great opportunity to put his life together, and he needs to do that.”

— Paloma Esquivel, reporting from Orange County