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Orange County teacher convicted of indecent exposure

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

Comments () | Archives (9)

You better check your facts. They CANNOT charge TWO counts of misdemeanor indecent exposure. By law, the second count automatically is a FELONY!

Just check 314.1 PC. It says so right there. You cannot charge the second count as a misdemeanor, that is not an option.

Yes, I do think calling it a felony if wrong, but that's what our law classifies it as.

How shocking. My parents live a short distance away. This comes on the heels of an Oprah show exposing "bad" teachers amongst the great. Makes one think about those labeled bad that they are really messed up in the head and it has nothing to do with their academic backgrounds. Worse, once these teachers are on board it takes an act of Congress to eliminate them. Well, does this event count?

Of course the state can charge that way, Mark.

The second conviction is a felony only if the person already has a prior CONVICTION, not merely a prior charge against him.
Here is the applicable code (314.1) if you want to review it:

Another great unionista teaching your kids in OC. How many times has he done this at school one wonders?

You better check your facts. That's two counts, and that means FELONY, not misdemeanor. Sec. 314.1 PC specifically says second count is a FELONY -- that is NOT optional.

Yes, I think classifying any count of indecent exposure as a felony is ludicrous, but you still must get your reporting straight! The public should know it is being handled as a felony.

Teacher! wow - all tax money was used to feed this kind of teacher. What else we did know about teachers?

Teacher unions and teachers are the parasite. All politicians, who take money of the teacher union, you should be shamed of yourselves.

Another Orange County nut. How come OC, the conservative, teaparty mecca have so many perverts?

Harpo: the story is indicating both convictions were mere misdemeanors. The sentence confirms that, as a maximum of jail. Felons go to prison, not jail. One year each count in jail -- for two years if served consecutively rather than concurrently -- is the maximum for MISDEMEANOR indecent exposure.

And as you seem to agree, 314.1 specifically makes second conviction a felony, not an option about it -- and this guy was convicted on the second count. (I do know that if you have a prior on the record, if it is not raised in the course of the case -- that is, "pleaded and proved" -- the count in that second case can be a misdemeanor. But in this case, the second count is pleaded and known here so cannot be ignored.)

Well, at least he has the proper name for such an incident.


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