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Orange County teacher convicted of indecent exposure

September 28, 2010 |  2:21 pm

A Lake Forest middle school music teacher was found guilty Tuesday of exposing himself to a receptionist during his son’s orthodontist appointment and on another occasion to a fellow teacher.

Mark Gerard Petrash, 42, a teacher at Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest, was charged in Orange County Superior Court with two misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure, said Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Marc Caress.

According to prosecutors, Petrash was sitting alone in the waiting room of his son’s orthodontist last year when he stood up, pulled up his shorts and exposed his penis to the receptionist.

After he was arrested for the incident, a teacher in his school district came forward and told police a similar incident happened months earlier while the two were attending a school district event at a local hotel.

According to the teacher, Petrash followed her into the restroom during the event, stood between the woman and the door and exposed and rubbed his penis against her, prosecutors said.

During the trial, Petrash denied exposing himself to the receptionist and said the teacher had agreed to go with him into the men’s restroom.

Calls to the school district were not immediately returned, but Caress said Petrash has been on leave from the district since he was arrested.

Petrash is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 18 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. He faces a maximum sentence of two years in jail and will have to register as a sex offender.

-- Paloma Esquivel