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OC teacher arrested for inappropriate behavior

February 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An Orange County high school teacher, who is a former NFL player, was arrested for alleged inappropriate behavior with students. Investigators say they fear there may be more alleged victims.

Santa Ana police arrested Joseph Manuel Orduna, 63, from Irvine on Monday. At the time of the allegations, he was a biology teacher and wrestling coach at Godinez Fundamental High School in Santa Ana.

"Mr. Orduna is accused of, specifically with Jane Doe No. 1, making multiple comments of flirtatious nature, and then ultimately kissing Jane Doe No. 1 in the halls of the school," said prosecutor Brad Schoenleben.

The 16-year-old reported the alleged incident, and then police say a second 16-year-old girl came forward. She accused Orduna of grabbing her buttocks while hugging her. The alleged incidents happened between April and June 2011.

Authorities allege Orunda would also talk about his sex life in class. At least one student claimed he would ask students to write about their own sex lives.

"He would tell the people the write about their intimate things, but a lot of people wouldn't do it because that's part of their life," said student Abby Perez.

Orduna played in the NFL for four years for the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts in the early '70s. He became a teacher more than a decade ago in Orange County.

Orunda has been 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 $15,000 bail.

"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," the district said in a statement.

Authorities believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information is urged to call SAPD at (714) 245-8351.

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