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San Clemente teacher charged in sexual assault of eighth-grader

June 25, 2012 |  4:03 pm

Richard RackAn Orange County middle school teacher who has already pleaded not guilty to lewd behavior with  two students was charged Monday with repeatedly sexually assaulting an eighth-grade girl.

Richard Rack, 50, is charged with five felony counts of lewd acts on a child and one count of oral copulation of a minor under 16 in connection with a series of alleged incidents in his San Clemente classroom and at the girl's home.

Rack, a math teacher at Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente, has been under investigation since a girl reported his alleged misconduct last November. In June, Rack was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child annoyance involving two other students. Sheriff's detectives arrested him in connection with the third victim last week, leading to the new charges. They are also investigating an allegation involving a fourth girl.

"Jane Doe No. 3" was allegedly assaulted between February 2009 and October 2010.

"The sexual relationship began when she was a student in his classroom. The sexual acts occurred in the classroom and at the girl's home," said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Amormino said that despite being under investigation for alleged misconduct with two other students and being arrested in June for child annoyance related to those allegations, Rack continued his alleged activities with the third girl while out on bail.

The November 2011 investigation began when a teenage girl claimed that Rack engaged in sexual and inappropriate behavior with her, including asking her to wear a low-cut blouse, commenting on her bust and looking down her shirt. He also allegedly hugged and kissed her.

Capistrano Unified School District officials placed Rack on leave Dec. 1 as Special Victims Unit investigators interviewed his students. Detectives discovered another girl, younger than 14, whom Rack  allegedly coerced into sending him a naked picture of herself. Those allegations led to his arrest June 6 on suspicion of child annoyance.

After a search of Rack's cellphone, detectives found the third victim. She told investigators she had sexual relations with Rack for two years since she being in his class, Amormino said.

Rack has been at the school since 2002, according to officials there.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Richard Rack. Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department

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