Palo Alto High School science teacher Ronnie Farrell pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges that he touched a 15-year-old student inappropriately, a Santa Clara County prosecutor said.
Farrell, 46, is charged with six counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor and three counts of sexual battery for two incidents in early June on school grounds, prosecutor Steven Dal Porto said.
Farrell was arrested by Palo Alto police on June 15.
The student regularly helped teachers in the classroom with chores. She met with Farrell on June 7 after he allegedly asked her to meet him at the school, according to the DA’s office.
Farrell led her to a classroom, where he allegedly touched her chest and took her hand to touch his groin. The girl told her parents about the incident, and they called police. Farrell continued corresponding with the girl via social media and arranged to meet her at the school on June 15. When he arrived, police arrested him.
In a separate incident on June 3, Farrell also allegedly had inappropriate physical contact with the girl, Dal Port said.
Farrell is out on $250,000 bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto on Jan. 20.