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Man blackmails teacher over student sex?

March 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
He could have been a hero, but the Anaheim man who suspected a high-school band teacher was having sex with a student is now accused of blackmailing that woman for money and pornography. Both people are facing some pretty serious charges. Miguel Lopez, 23, allegedly tried to benefit from the situation. Prosecutors allege Miguel Lopez crossed the line when he didn't go to police, but instead tried to blackmail Carlie Attebury.

When Attebury was a music teacher at El Modena High School in Orange, the 29-year-old was accused of having sex with one of her students. Lopez was a member of the Vanguard Percussion Ensemble. The extracurricular band is made up of current and former high-school students, directed by Attebury. She would have social gatherings at her home at that time in Orange. Prosecutors say Lopez suspected Attebury was having an affair with a minor.

"He took that information, confronted her with it, through e-mails and text messages, and told her in exchange for giving him money and pornography, he would not go to the authorities, and that her problems would disappear," said prosecutor Todd Spitzer.

Prosecutors allege for several weeks in 2008, Lopez, using a fake name to e-mail the teacher, demanded thousands of dollars and nude photos of her.

"Once the pornography was sent he upped the price up to $4,500," said Spitzer.

Attebury eventually went to police in June 2008 to report what happened. Prosecutors say Lopez never received any money, but investigators seized his computer and allegedly discovered dozens of sexually suggestive photos of Attebury.

Attebury was placed on administrative leave after her arrest and faces several felony counts. Lopez has pleaded not guilty to the extortion charge against him.

"That's where he went from being a potential Good Samaritan and a hero and protecting the public, to crossing the line, which resulted in these charges being filed against him," said Spitzer.

Now Attebury did enter not-guilty pleas to the charges against her.

Eyewitness News was unable to get comment from Attebury or Lopez.

Lopez is scheduled to be tried on April 28. Attebury will be back at court in May.


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