UPDATE: The OC Register’s online article about this has some interesting comments, here.
Joseph Manuel Orduna, an Irvine resident and wrestling coach/teacher at the Santa Ana Unified School District’s (SAUSD) Godinez Fundamental High School, has been arrested and charged with “making sexually suggestive comments and inappropriately touching two female students.” The SAPD and the OCDA are seeking the public’s help in identifying additional victims.
FYI, this one hits close to home, as I have a son who is a sophomore at Godinez and another son who graduated from Godinez and is now at UCLA. Godinez is a great school with top administrators and teachers – as such this case is a real shocker.
As usual, there is NO WORD OF THIS AT ALL on the SAUSD’s website. UPDATE: SAUSD Superintendent Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana responded to an email I sent her today, regarding this topic. She said that this information will be posted on the district’s website “as soon as possible” today and that she is working with the administrators at Godinez on a plan to “distribute information to the parents.” It should be noted that the district has a full-time webmaster on their staff, as well as a well-staffed Public Information Office.
UPDATE: The SAUSD has posted their response to this story on their website. Here is their one-paragraph response:
SAUSD’s Response to Former Teacher’s Arrest
We are appalled by the former teacher’s reprehensible alleged behavior. We acted swiftly upon learning about the allegations, placed him on administrative leave and reported the allegations to the appropriate authorities. We continue to cooperate fully with the Santa Ana Police Department, and we strongly encourage anybody with information that might aid in the investigation to come forward.
Note that they are calling the suspect a “former teacher.” But they admit to placing him on leave, so he wasn’t a “former” teacher when this happened – that is just spin. They did not write a response in Spanish, but they do have a translating tool on their website.
Also, the SAUSD did post this on their Facebook page, but only after they Tweeted it at at @Santaanausd.
I did NOT get a call from Godinez about this. They usually do robot calls when they need to communicate to parents.
UPDATE: Click here to see the letter that the SAUSD has sent to the Godinez parents. They are also now looking into the allegations that Orduna previously worked at Villa Intermediate. I brought those allegations to their attention after a reader posted that in a comment on this post.
Here is the SAPD/OCDA’s press release on the matter:
Advisory: LAW ENFORCEMENT SEEKS PUBLIC’S HELP IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, DATE: February 28, 2012
Contact: Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, Public Information Officer, Santa Ana Police Department, 714-245-8029/714-709-2043
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff, Orange County District Attorney, 714-347-8408/714-292-2718
Farrah Emami, Spokesperson, Orange County District Attorney, 714-347-8405/714-323-4486
LAW ENFORCEMENT SEEKS PUBLIC’S HELP IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER CHARGED WITH MAKING SEXUAL COMMENTS AND INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHING TWO 16-YEAR-OLD GIRLS
SANTA ANA – Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help identifying potential additional victims of a high school biology teacher who has been arrested today by the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) and charged with making sexually suggestive comments and inappropriately touching two female students. Joseph Manuel Orduna, 63, Irvine, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of child annoyance and faces a maximum sentence of two years in jail if convicted. He is being held on $25,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned at a later date in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crimes, Orduna was a biology teacher and wresting coach at Godinez Fundamental High School in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of frequently making inappropriate comments about sex in front of his class including discussing details of his sex life.
Between April and June 2011, he is accused of making sexually suggestive comments and inappropriately touching two 16-year-old female students. The defendant is accused of frequently tightly hugging both victims for long periods of time.
On one occasion, Orduna is accused of kissing Jane Doe #1 on the lips while giving her a hug in the hallway of the school near the entrance to his classroom. On another occasion, Orduna is accused of grabbing Jane Doe #2’s buttocks while hugging her.
Jane Doe #1 reported the inappropriate contact to school officials, who contacted the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). In the course of their investigation, SAPD learned of the inappropriate contact with Jane Doe #2.
Santa Ana Unified School District is aware of the allegations, assisted in the investigation and has taken affirmative steps to ensure student safety.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact SAPD Detective Ed Zaragoza at (714) 245-8351 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Carl Waddell at (714) 834-7538.
Deputy District Attorney Brad Schoenleben is prosecuting this case.
The SAUSD Trustees do not list their contact information on the SAUSD website, so here is how you can contact them:
- Rob Richardson – The president of the SAUSD board. He is the assistant to the Orange County CEO as well. rob.richardson@earth
link.net and rob.richardson@ocgov .com
- Roman A. Reyna – firstname.lastname@example.org. Also call him at (714) 865-9118 or email him at email@example.com.
- Jose Alfredo Hernandez – The SAUSD board’s vice president. JoseAlfredo@1JAHLaw.com. (714) 568-4529.
- John Palacio – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Audrey Noji – The clerk of the SAUSD board. You can call her at 909-274-4505 or click here to send her an email at her workplace.