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Orange County teacher arrested on suspicion of molesting four girls

June 22, 2012 |  2:14 pm

Richard RackAn Orange County middle school teacher is in custody on suspicion of molesting four students, including a girl who says he had sex with her in a San Clemente classroom, police said.

Richard Rack, a 50-year-old math teacher at Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente, was being held Friday on $1-million bail after an investigation that began in November escalated when Orange County sheriff's detectives learned he had had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl for two years.

"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 while out on bail continued his activities with the third girl.

"This contact continued up until last week," Amormino said. "His behavior leads us to believe there may be other victims out there."

Rack was charged in June with two counts of annoying or molesting a child in connection with two victims and pleaded not guilty.

On Thursday, Rack was re-arrested on suspicion of oral copulation of a minor and lewd acts upon a child 14 or 15 years old.

The November 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 kissing her.

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

After a search of his cellphone, detectives found the third victim. She revealed to investigators that she had sexual relations with Rack for two years since she was in his class, Amormino said.

Amormino said a fourth victim has come forward with further allegations. Rack has been at the school since 2002, according to officials there. The sheriff's department is now examining his background in more detail.


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-- Richard Winton

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