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Telfair teacher sentenced to 25 years in prison child sex abuse

Former Telfair Elementary School teacher Paul Chapel is shown in court in this undated file photo.

September 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A former third-grade teacher from Telfair Elementary School who pleaded no contest to charges of lewd acts with children has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison.

Judge Lloyd Nash also ordered Paul Chapel, 51, to register as a sex offender for life.

While none of Chapel's victims appeared in court, the prosecution read statements from three family members of the victims.

The molestations involved 13 students, ages 8 and 9, between September 2006 and April 2011. One young girl told detectives Chapel picked her up by her legs during class and kissed her on her neck and stomach.

Chapel was charged last fall with the sexual abuse of three girls and a boy. Prosecutors later added charges involving nine additional boys and girls, bringing the total to 13.

He was removed from the classroom in April 2011 when the investigation began, and was fired by the Los Angeles Unified School District in March.

Two former Telfair students sued Chapel and the LAUSD in July, saying Chapel touched them inappropriately and that the district failed to protect them.

City News Service contributed to this report.