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Prep School Teacher Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Charges

LOS ANGELES ( — A former teacher at an exclusive high school for girls pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony sex charges stemming from his alleged relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Joseph Thomas Koetters, 47, of Santa Monica, was charged Feb. 3 with two felony counts each of oral copulation of a person under 18 and sexual penetration by a foreign object.

Koetters was an English teacher at the Marlborough School in Hancock Park when he allegedly initiated a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old girl in 2000. The criminal complaint alleges that the crimes occurred between June 2000 and June 2002.

The young woman notified police last July after learning about other victims through an Internet blog post, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

According to Detective Kim Porter, two more victims were also interviewed. But one of the incidents occurred too long ago to file charges, and the other happened in Nevada, Porter said.

Koetters taught at Marlborough School for 14 years, according to an interview he gave to the newspaper of the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, where he went on to teach briefly.

Koetters is free on $140,000 bail posted shortly after his arrest Feb. 4.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to five years in state prison.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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